Yet another LSU fraternity has become the subject of police investigation into hazing and drug use while the university grapples with continued problems at its Greek institutions.
An LSU student in the Kappa Sigma fraternity has received a misdemeanor summons related to a hazing incident, while LSU Police this week searched the three-story Kappa Sigma house after they received a report about a drug overdose there. Details about the hazing incident are murky, but LSU’s former vice president of student affairs noted in an email in January that police were investigating the fraternity for “a hazing violation related to theft.”
LSU officials received at least two specific warnings over the past three years about problems at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, records …
This week’s raid on the Kappa Sigma house is the latest in a series of unflattering episodes that have thrust LSU’s Greek system under the microscope. A month ago, nine members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were arrested and accused of hazing. The fraternity closed its LSU chapter in January. In 2017, LSU fraternity pledge Max Gruver died after a hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which has also since closed.
LSU released few details about the hazing summons for the Kappa Sigma member, and did not name the student who received it or say when he received it. But officials said the case was turned over to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office for prosecution.
“The case is also under review for violations of the Student Code of Conduct,” LSU spokeswoman Alison Lee Satake said in a statement Friday. “When that is completed, a determination will be made about changes in the fraternity’s status.”
No one was safe from mockery when LSU’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity members sat down to craft their gameday banners.
It’s unclear if the search warrant that LSU Police filed in the 19th Judicial District this week is part of a broader police investigation into Kappa Sigma. LSU police wrote an affidavit supporting the warrant March 5 that said they were called to the Kappa Sigma house a day earlier after reports of a drug overdose.
Police wrote that a Kappa Sigma member who told them he took fentanyl was combative when they arrived, and another tried to flee the scene. Officers brought both members to a hospital for treatment.
The Kappa Sigma member who originally fled the scene told emergency medical personnel that he had smoked “dabs,” a wax substance made up of THC — the psychoactive drug found in marijuana. He said he mixed an unknown substance with the THC wax, police wrote.
A grandfather who saw hazing wounds on his grandson while the LSU student was swimming demanded the investigation of the Delta Kappa Epsilon f…
The fraternity member who said he took fentanyl had to be fastened to a medical bed because the drug he took made him violent and caused him to have a seizure, police wrote. It’s unclear whether the fentanyl — known for its deadly potency — was actually in his system. Other fraternity members later told LSU police that their friends smoked marijuana earlier that night in the Kappa Sigma house.
A detective, Michael Garguiolo, returned to the fraternity house the next day, March 5, with a search warrant. He reported that he seized three glass bongs, two marijuana grinders, one metal pipe and one computer system.
Though the search warrant only references drugs, LSU’s former vice president of student affairs wrote in an email Jan. 18 that Kappa Sigma was “on conditional status with the university.” Kurt Keppler's email to LSU Provost Stacia Haynie said police were investigating a hazing violation related to theft at Kappa Sigma, according to documents The Advocate received as part of a public-records request. Keppler is no longer vice president of student affairs at LSU.
Officials at Kappa Sigma’s national headquarters did not return a message from The Advocate on Friday. The fraternity has had an LSU presence since 1887, but the fraternity’s house is brand-new. The old house was deemed uninhabitable in 2015, and the fraternity raised $7 million to build the new iteration, which features brick and columns. Around Halloween last year, multiple homeowners in Baton Rouge reported that Kappa Sigma members had stolen their seasonal decorations.
More than a year after Maxwell Gruver’s hazing-related death, LSU’s fraternities continue to rack up misconduct allegations leading to suspensions.
According to an LSU Greek Life score card that makes fraternity infractions publicly available, Kappa Sigma was placed on probation from Feb. 20, 2017 through May 31, 2018. Before the probation, the chapter had been suspended since Oct. 25, 2016 following a hazing violation. LSU found additional alcohol, drug and endangerment violations in fall 2016, the score card reports.
Kappa Sigma also received a letter of reprimand between June 2015 and May 2017 following unspecified citations in April 2015.
In the same email in which he referenced Kappa Sigma, Keppler wrote that LSU’s Pi Kappa Phi was also under police investigation for hazing. LSU confirmed Friday that police are still investigating Pi Kappa Phi, which the university placed on interim suspension in October last year.
Victor Tran, a Pi Kappa Phi spokesman, said Friday that the fraternity is “continuing to fully cooperate” with LSU and police and that they expect members to do the same. Tran said Pi Kappa Phi has delayed performing its own investigation as the fraternity waits on police to finish theirs.