The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Fraternities suspended following March 1 off-campus altercation

Tau Kappa Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau fraternities have been suspended from the University following an altercation between members of both organizations in the early morning hours of March 1.

According to Jack Flynn, assistant director of Judicial Affairs, “There was an incident that took place off campus that, following the investigation, was determined to be a violation of the code of conduct.”

The Office of Judicial Affairs was informed of the incident by an unidentified source. Following notification, an investigation was conducted. According to Flynn, both organizations were compliant during the process.

Although unable to give specifics on the incident, Flynn said, “The nature of the incident determines the severity of any sanction, so whether an event happens off campus or on campus, we actually don’t treat it differently.”

Flynn went on to say that, “They received official notification from office of judicial affairs informing them of the nature of the sanction and the length of any suspensions that would be involved,” though he was unable to confirm any rumors about the length of the suspensions.

In addition to suspension, both organizations have had their tables removed from the University Center Commons, a practice that has been standard penalty since last February, when Tau Kappa Epsilon was suspended for another off-campus incident.
TKE was suspended at the start of the spring semester, following an investigation by Student Life after a fight with members of the lacrosse team that occurred off campus in December. The organization was taken off suspension on May 1, 2006.

At the time, members of the fraternity believed that they had been unfairly treated by the administration. The initial investigation into the fight with members of the lacrosse team was unable to produce evidence to suspend the group, but Student Life administrators felt that there was enough to suspend the group for disorderly conduct and misconduct.
Student Life began looking into an off-campus party allegedly hosted by the fraternity in December 2005, after the initial investigation did not produce enough evidence to warrant a suspension.

While TKE admitted that the party was hosted by two of its members, both of whom were over 21 years of age, the fraternity did not profit from the event and the organization had no control over who was permitted entry to the party.
A year prior, TKE was placed on probation after another off-campus fight with members of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. The fight occurred on Dec. 16, 2004, at Judge Hockert Triangle, located two blocks away from St. John’s, between Surrey Place, 179th Street and Union Turnpike. Two fraternity members were injured and spent time in a local hospital, but details regarding their injuries were never made available.

Flynn was unable to confirm any hospitalization of students after the most recent altercation.

Members of Tau Kappa Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau declined comment.

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