WU launches investigation, SAE suspends members after Kappa Karaoke dance
Washington University is conducting formal investigation, led by the University’s Title IX office in conjunction with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma, into SAE’s performance at Kappa Karaoke March 25.
The performance, part of which appeared to mimic sexual assault, prompted apology letters sent to sorority and fraternity chapter heads the following day. It also led SAE to suspend four fraternity members who choreographed the performance, the organization told Student Life in a statement.
“Sigma Alpha Epsilon is still working on our internal investigation,” SAE’s statement read. “However, we have placed the four brothers who were the choreographers for the Kappa Karaoke routine on suspension until we have finished our investigation.”
While the fraternity is conducting a larger ongoing internal investigation, the suspended members “temporarily lose all rights and privileges of membership,” according to SAE’s national website’s description of a suspension and section 62C of their internal laws.
According to Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority life David Stetter, the University investigation began almost immediately after the incident occurred.
“We received a report around 6 p.m. that Sunday night, so the event was still occurring when we received the initial email,” he said. “I spoke with [SAE and KKG] on Monday, and it was elevated to the Title IX office by Wednesday morning.”
Although specific details of the investigation are yet to be released, Title IX Director Jessica Kennedy noted that investigations normally involve a comprehensive look at the situation.
“In the case that a complaint is made against a student group or groups, my office investigates that,” she said. “We talk to the people who made the complaints, we interview anyone that was a relevant person…After that, we make a determination about whether a University policy has been violated and, if so, what the appropriate remedy is, if any.”
According to Kennedy, such investigations can result in a wide range of consequences, including educational programming, community service and suspension of events or groups. Kennedy noted that the investigation is nearing its conclusion but did not give a timeline for when results would be released.
“We’re nearing the end of the process, but does that mean a day, a week or a month? That’s not something I’m going to speculate on,” she said.
Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief Ella Chochrek is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and was not involved in the writing or reporting of this story.