Vice President's Update on Standards for Student Organizations
I hope that these first few weeks of class have provided you a chance to settle in, get to know our community, and begin engaging in the vibrant campus life our University has to offer. From Welcome Week to Family Weekend, there has been no shortage of things to do; I hope you have enjoyed the start of the year as much as we have in the Division of Student Development.
Unfortunately, I write to you today, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, to share some disappointing information about our campus community.
Each year, the Department of Student Activities & Greek Affairs (SAGA) supports more than 230 recognized student organizations at Loyola. Recognized student organizations are an essential part of the social and cultural fabric of our University, and, among other benefits, they enjoy access to University facilities for their programs, training and professional development opportunities for officers and members, and funding through the Student Activity Fund. In return for this institutional recognition, student organizations agree to follow all University policies and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Loyola’s institutional values and mission.
Over the summer and into the fall semester, several student organizations faced disciplinary consequences for various violations of the Community Standards, which establish the expectations for student and student organizational behavior at Loyola. Most notably, three large, well-established student organizations were suspended for different types of organizational misconduct. They are as follows:
- Kapwa (Filipino cultural organization) was suspended from June 2017 through May 2018 for alcohol violations and violations of approved organizational travel policies.
- Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, Inc. (Gamma Iota Chapter) was suspended from August 2017 through January 2019 for hazing, alcohol violations, and violations of organizational fundraising and co-sponsorship policies.
- South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) was suspended from September 2017 through August 2021 for financial fraud, alcohol violations, and violations of fundraising policies.
While each of these organizations’ specific infractions were separate and distinct, this pattern of organizational misconduct is deeply disappointing to me, and I imagine that the news of these suspensions will be disappointing to you as well.
We recognize and appreciate the diverse contributions these groups make to the life of our campus, but if an organization cannot demonstrate the ability and willingness to abide by our policies—which are developed to ensure safety and equity, primarily—then they may not enjoy the privilege of institutional recognition. I share this information today not to shame these particular organizations, nor to diminish their contributions, but to call attention to the importance of ethical leadership within the student organization community.
This fall, SAGA has launched additional training resources and materials—including a new Sakai-based resource—and increased the availability of student support staff via the Campus Activities Network to assist with navigating organizational policies and procedures. In the spring, SAGA will also implement additional mandatory training resources focused on hazing prevention, inclusion, diversity, conflict resolution, and ethical leadership. It is my sincere hope that all members and officers of student organizations will take advantage of these resources to reflect on their own organizational practices and ensure that they are embodying the values they espouse.
As a reminder, if you are aware of organizational misconduct of any kind, please know that you can always report it to EthicsLine.
Thank you and best wishes for a successful and safe rest of the year.
Vice President for Student Development