SIUE officials are investigating reports that a campus fraternity harassed and hazed a Black student pledging the fraternity with racist and homophobic slurs.
Arluan Van Hook, 18, of St. Louis told The Grio that he has to be escorted on campus by a police officer, after reporting Kappa Sigma’s SIUE chapter to the university in October and receiving threatening phone calls.
SIUE’s Bias Incident Response Team issued a statement Tuesday that said they have been investigating since Van Hook filed the complaint in October, issuing a no-contact order between Van Hook and all members of Kappa Sigma. The fraternity has been placed on a cease and desist, and Van Hook was offered the chance to change living arrangements on campus. According to The Grio, however, he opted to move back home to St. Louis.
“We regret that this student has felt unsafe due to this disrespectful behavior,” the statement read. “Actions of this nature are unacceptable and have no place at SIUE.”
The SIUE Interfraternity Council also released a statement condemning the frat members’ behavior, as well as racism, homophobia and hazing in general – while recognizing that fraternities have “well-documented historical roots” in such practices.
“We commit to doing our due diligence of speaking up and speaking out when we have borne witness to or made aware of such incidents,” the statement read, while calling on the administration to “fill these gaps in accountability.”
In its statement, IFC apologized for the harm that has been caused, while recognizing that apologies may not be enough.
“We understand that to create lasting and impactful changes in our community, we must be committed to becoming more knowledgeable about our history, individual implicit biases, and acknowledge privileges that can create inequities,” the statement read.
Kappa Sigma’s national leaders told The Grio that the frat has suspended six members of the SIUE chapter.
A hearing on the issue is expected to take place Thursday.