The Collegian
Friday, September 22, 2023

E-mail sender sanctioned

The University Hearing Board has disciplined Kappa Sigma's former recruitment chairman for the sexually explicit e-mail that circulated on campus recently, handing down sanctions that school policy mandates cannot be disclosed publicly.

The student has not been suspended, as was originally recommended by the dean of Richmond College, but revealing the sanctions would violate the board's hearing policies, a top university official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

At every board hearing, the chairperson reads a statement from a handbook that states that all people who are present -- including the student being sanctioned -- are to hold the details, outcomes and sanctions of the hearing confidential, the official said.

Everyone involved honored the board's policies by not commenting to The Collegian about the details of the hearing, held on Oct. 30, or the sanctions. The hearing was not open to the public.

"As with all discipline and conduct violation this information is confidential," wrote Patrick B. Benner, associate dean of Richmond College, in an e-mail to The Collegian. "I have to ensure that the integrity of the discipline and hearing processes are upheld."

That sentiment was echoed by Steve Bisese, vice president for student development.

"Information like this -- disciplinary or honor -- and academic information is private and cannot be discussed by administrators," Bisese wrote in an e-mail. "The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act guarantees privacy of a student's academic records.

"Students in honor and judicial procedures are protected by confidentiality, disclosure and the sharing of educational records."

The sanctioned student is not being identified because of the sensitive nature of the issue. The e-mail he sent to first-year recruits contained sexually explicit language that was demeaning to women while announcing the weekend's activities.

Based on the charges, the student faced three options: resigning from the university, accepting the dean's recommended suspension until May 2009 or having his case heard by the university hearing board, according to e-mails and reviews of the university's judicial policies.

The student opted to have his case heard before the university hearing board, meaning the sanctions recommended by the dean's office were nullified.

Other sanction possibilities included revoking certain student privileges, placing him under residential housing probation or sentencing him to community service, among others, according to the university's handbook.

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