Purdue News

July 19, 2005

Purdue withdraws recognition of fraternity after drug arrests

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University on Tuesday (July 19) withdrew recognition of Tau Kappa Epsilon following the arrests of three of the fraternity's former executive officers on drug-related charges.

Three members of the fraternity, which has a house at 300 Russell St., were arrested on May 5 on charges of possessing and dealing cocaine and psilocybin (sill-ah-SCI-bin) mushrooms. Subsequently, the university learned that all three had held fraternity leadership positions during the past academic year. One student had been vice president of the house for the spring semester, and the other two were pledge class chairman and treasurer during the fall semester.

"The situation involving this fraternity house was unusually egregious," said L. Tony Hawkins, dean of students. "Illegal drugs were confiscated at the TKE house. We believe that members had reason to know or suspect that there was a problem and did not take corrective action or alert university authorities."

In the arrests, one of which occurred at the TKE house, police seized one-half pound of psilocybin mushrooms and about 7 grams of cocaine. Purdue police said the street value of the confiscated drugs was approximately $1,800. The arrests were made by the Tippecanoe County Drug Task Force, which includes Purdue police officers.

"We take illegal drug activity very seriously at Purdue," Hawkins said. "We intend to be proactive. Drugs exist on all campuses, but our research shows that it is not as pervasive at Purdue. Our research shows the magnitude of the problem here, on average, is less than at other universities nationwide. It's not part of the Purdue culture, and we intend to be proactive in keeping it that way."

"The university has withdrawn recognition of TKE for an indefinite period, the length to be determined after the completion of the investigations by the police," Hawkins said.

Withdrawal of recognition means that the TKE fraternity is no longer affiliated with Purdue University and has no rights or privileges associated with official recognition. The sanction takes effect immediately and is final unless the fraternity decides to appeal the decision to the Campus Appeals Board.

The appeals board is composed of students, faculty and staff and is independent of the Office of the Dean of Students. The fraternity has one week to appeal the decision. If TKE appeals the decision, the board has the authority under university regulations to uphold or overturn the decision. It also may lessen a disciplinary sanction or make it more stringent.

Source: Jeanne V. Norberg (765) 494-2084; home, (765) 449-4986; jnorberg@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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