Kappa Sigma president held liable for pledge hospitalization, placed on limited probation
Kappa Sigma colony president and presidential scholar Peter Johnson is facing disciplinary action from Belmont University after one of his fraternity brothers was hospitalized on Halloween.
Johnson was put on limited probation on Saturday following a disciplinary hearing with Janelle Briscoe, the director of community accountability. Johnson said limited probation means that if there is one more incident he will face suspension or expulsion.
When reached for comment, Briscoe said in a statement to the Vision that she could not disclose information due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
After returning from an off-campus party intoxicated, a freshman pledge in Kappa Sigma was caught by university officials after being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, Johnson said.
“I was being held personally liable for acts that they considered organizational,” Johnson said.
Kappa Sigma is not a recognized Belmont fraternity, but is recognized by the fraternity’s national office as the Nashville, Tenn. Colony. Less than half of its members are former pledges of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which is also no longer recognized as a fraternity on Belmont’s campus after it violated the university’s Hazing and Substance Free Community policies last year.
Currently all the Kappa Sigma members in the colony are classified as pledges until it becomes a full-fledged chapter.
Kappa Sigma has been actively recruiting Belmont students this semester as part of its efforts to become that chapter.
According to an internal letter sent to members of the colony obtained by the Vision, national Kappa Sigma Executive Director Mitchell Wilson and the Director of Colony Development Leo Brown will visit Belmont on Dec. 2 to meet with members of the administration about the situation.
Their main goal is to “work towards a solution where Belmont would not hold the president liable for every action of its members,” according to the letter.
The letter says that “unless the meeting warrants change, this colony of Kappa Sigma will cease to exist.”
According to the letter, the Kappa Sigma national organization does not want to have a local officer’s academic future at a university to be put at risk because of the actions of its members.
Freshman Connor Ehman, a Kappa Sigma pledge, said he is disappointed in the university’s response to the colony.
“We have done 1,200 hours of community services this semester with the 60 guys, adopted two strips of highway,” Ehman said. “We want Greek life and we wanted a different Greek life than what was already available. And so, we built this thing that 60 students want to be a part of and now we are going to face all that going away because the administration doesn’t like the organization.”