UVa-Wise fraternity, sorority suspended

Two UVa-Wise Greek organizations are suspended and under college investigation after a student apparently drank and suffered alcohol poisoning on the night of Dec. 2-3.

College Director of News Relations Kathy Still confirmed Wednesday that the suspensions stemmed from a mixer on Dec. 2-3 involving fraternity Kappa Sigma and sorority Theta Phi Alpha.
Wise Police Lt. Jason R. Taylor said Thursday that the mixer was held at a Main Street residence and that a 19-year-old college student was interviewed earlier this week after the incident. Taylor said a call from Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp led to police asking the student to come to the station to answer questions about the incident.
The student admitted to police that he did get intoxicated at the mixer, was found by another student and was taken to an area hospital for treatment for alcohol poisoning, Taylor said.
The student said he suffered bruising from falling while he was intoxicated and not because of any assault or hazing, Taylor added.
Taylor said the police department did not file a police report because no emergency officials were called to the scene of the mixer.
Still on Wednesday said that the college will conduct its own investigation of the incident. College Student Center Director Julie Scott, Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Greek Life Nathan Rasnake, college Intramural Sports Director Mikaela Logan and Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life Rusty Necessary will handle the investigation.
Scott and Rasnake said Thursday that the college’s Greek Judiciary Council would normally handle cases of this nature. The judiciary council has not yet been formed, so the investigation falls to Necessary, Scott, Rasnake and Moore. Scott and Rasnake referred questions on the actual investigation to Still.
“It is too early to speculate on the outcome of the investigation at this time,” Still said, adding that the college takes such incidents very seriously.
Necessary said that he believes the investigation is nearing its end but the investigative team does not want to rush the process.
“He is in the loop,” Necessary said about any involvement by Commonwealth’s Attorney Slemp.
Slemp declined Friday to talk about any ongoing criminal investigation.
Shane McGoey, national executive director for Theta Phi Alpha, said Thursday that the national organization is communicating with UVa-Wise and is supporting the college’s investigation while also conducting its own investigation.
The UVa-Wise chapter of Theta Phi Alpha was issued a cease and desist order from the national organization, halting any meetings, pledging, recruitment, or any planned gatherings, McGoey said.
“Theta Phi Alpha is very concerned about the allegations made against the UVa-Wise chapter and does not condone this type of behavior,” McGoey said.  “We are doing all we can to resolve this matter with cooperation with [UVa-Wise].”
Kappa Sigma’s national organization did not respond to calls.
Kappa Sigma has no on-campus advisor, and the faculty advisor for Theta Phi Alpha is Rachel Tighe.
Still said the suspensions do not affect any other college Greek organizations.

Michael Adams contributed to this article.

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