Tau Kappa Epsilon officially loses university acknowledgement

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Tau Kappa Epsilon officially loses university acknowledgement

Emily Broyles, Associate News Editor

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The Omicron Alpha chapter Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity is officially no longer recognized at App State after numerous reports of breaking student conduct and assaulting women.

TKE was on organizational suspension since Jan. 2017 when it was decided the fraternity continued “a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with App State’s policies,” according to a press release from Copeley Johnson & Groninger, PLLC. on Sept 13. Copeley Johnson & Groninger represented former App State students in a legal case against TKE. 

The alleged behavior included problematic social media posts involving the chapter, reports of police responding to calls at homes of chapter members, chapter members receiving referrals from student conduct and credible accusations of assault on women, according to the press release.

Jeff Cathey, director of student engagement and leadership, wrote in a letter to the chapter, which was on App State’s campus since 1973, that the organization will not be considered for renewal as an expansion chapter before spring 2023.

“Regardless of specifics of individual concerns, these instances indicate a persisting pattern sufficient to convince me that Tau Kappa Epsilon does not currently have a culture that is compatible with our policy,” Cathey said.

During a formal hearing process, TKE was found responsible for failure to comply; violation of law; violation of university, national, and local policies, regulations, and rules, according to the press release.

Because of these violations of the Organizational Code of Conduct, TKE’s original suspension was changed to removal on May 6 of this year.

Leto Copeley, an attorney for a former App State student, said her client was affected by some of TKE’s behavior, but believes there may have been other behavior that led to the organization’s removal.

“Unfortunately, this fraternity decided its members could follow their own set of rules, regardless of the consequences. Not a single one of the events that caused TKE to lose its recognition would have occurred had TKE members taken the original suspension seriously,” Copeley said.

Copeley said her clients are pleased that App State took action on the case, protecting students from further unlawful behavior.

Copeley’s Durham law firm, Copeley Johnson & Groniger PLLC, represents survivors of sexual abuse.

 Copeley serves as president of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, a program dedicated to “helping victims seek justice through the civil system,” according to its website.