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UNG sorority on probation following hazing investigation
UNG Dahlonega
A view of the University of North Georgia Dahlonega campus. - photo by Times file photo

A University of North Georgia sorority is on probation following an investigation into a January party and suspected hazing, according to a report.

Kappa Delta is on social probation through spring 2019, meaning a prohibition on hosting or participating in social events with alcohol.

The local chapter and the national organization did not return requests for comment Tuesday, April 17.

According to the report, Dahlonega Kappa Delta members invited eight new members to a Jan. 16 party at an apartment leased by three sorority members.

“All members of Kappa Delta who were in attendance at the party were aware that some of the new members were drinking alcohol while underage. Some of the new members and members interviewed indicated that new members brought their own alcohol while others suggested that they did not bring their own alcohol, but rather alcohol was provided for the new members,” according to the report.

Two older Kappa Delta members then taught a drinking game to new members about reciting a song correctly, which lasted between 15 and 45 minutes, according to the report.

“The game is played in a kneeling position. If a new member missed a verse or otherwise made a mistake, she would drink alcohol from wine bottles handed to them by the two older Kappa Delta members and the game would resume until another mistake was made,” according to the report.

The report’s findings were “none of the Kappa Delta members in attendance did anything to stop the underage drinking nor the drinking game,” but the members said no one was forced to drink nor play the game.

“They also stated that they ensured that everyone was comfortable and kept stressing to the new members that they didn’t have to drink or play the game,” according to the report. “The majority of the new members agreed with this assessment and stated they didn’t feel forced to play the game or drink alcohol but at least one new member reported feeling uncomfortable and her subsequent actions indicated the same.”

The university hazing policy is partially defined as any behavior, action or situation that endangers the health of the student or behavior that “causes humiliation, embarrassment, ridicule, or discomfort of a student as a condition for continued membership” in an organization.

The report’s finding was that “it is more likely than not that members of Kappa Delta did haze new members seeking membership into the organization” at the Jan. 16 party.

“Although suspension was considered, during the course of the interviews, it was found that the alcohol game taught by the older Kappa Delta members is a part of the sorority’s culture, i.e. it has been passed down for years and most members were aware of the game. Further, interviews with members suggested that misuse of alcohol (underage consumption, providing alcohol to minors, being overly intoxicated, pregaming, etc.) is somewhat common — even if not pervasive — in the organization,” according to the investigator’s comments.

The sorority is on probationary status from summer 2019 until summer 2020, and all members must complete at least 12 hours of new member education “to include but is not limited to topics such as hazing, alcohol, and both Kappa Delta and University of North Georgia policies by the end of Fall 2018,” according to the report.

“Additional violations of University policy or failure to complete sanctions will jeopardize the organizations’ recognition on the University of North Georgia campus,” according to the recommended sanctions.

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