President McConnell Provides Update on Alcohol Ban

President Glenn McConnell sent the following message to the campus community on Sept. 8, 2016:

Dear Campus Community:

Last week, I emailed you regarding the suspension of all alcohol-related social activities for our fraternities and sororities. The alcohol ban is still in effect and will be until such time that each individual chapter has met the conditions outlined by the Division of Student Affairs.

As I stated in that letter, this action was taken in response to a series of dangerous behaviors connected to some members of our fraternities and sororities. I am writing to you today to provide an update on this recent action.  

First, I will not go into detail about any specific off-campus allegations due to a pending investigation by Charleston Police regarding a student arrested and charged with a crime. Under federal privacy laws, the College cannot speak about specific disciplinary actions regarding individual students. But let me be clear: The College has taken firm and appropriate action under our student code of conduct process and will continue to do so. Further, consistent with College policy regarding public safety matters, the College’s chief of police has barred the student who was criminally charged from campus.

While the recent allegation of criminal activity that occurred off campus was a contributing factor in the College’s decision regarding the suspension of alcohol-related events for fraternities and sororities, it was not the sole reason for the ban. It was the totality of risky and dangerous behavior at the beginning of the semester that made it necessary to take immediate action. This conduct is in direct conflict with our core values of community, respect and integrity, and this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

Second, the Alpha Epsilon Pi International Fraternity has closed its chapter at the College as a result of allegations made against certain members of that organization. The international office, in consultation with College of Charleston officials, determined that the chapter was not living up to the purpose and values espoused by the organization.

And, last, the College takes seriously its duty to protect its students and the entire campus community and to provide a healthy and safe environment. An important component of that is discouraging any and all risky and dangerous behavior and fostering a drug-free culture. As previously announced in June, the College formed a coalition with the City of Charleston and Charleston Police to take a comprehensive look at the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol within our community, including our own campus. For the past few months, campus leaders and Charleston city and police officials have been discussing ways to increase education and awareness efforts. As an example, earlier this semester, the College launched a synthetic drug awareness campaign aimed at educating college students about the common street names and the dangers of such drugs.

I will continue to keep the campus community updated about all of our ongoing efforts to address these very serious issues.