UI Official Worried About "Stripper Parties" at Fraternities

By Diane Heldt, Reporter

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, 302 Ridgeland Avenue, at the University of Iowa on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. The fraternity's national headquarters suspended the charter of its Iowa Beta chapter over allegations of hazing. All of its members have been expelled from the fraternity. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Ellen Kurt

IOWA CITY, Iowa - One University of Iowa official expressed concern that other UI Greek chapters are doing similar things to the activities that caused the closure of one chapter house this fall.

Kelly Jo Karnes, associate director of the UI Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, wrote in emails released by the university Tuesday that she believed "SEVERAL of our fraternities have been having these stripper parties ... and we have a lot that will either follow suit or will need to clean house."

Karnes made those comments in a Sept. 25 email to an official with the Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity office in Indianapolis. The two were discussing the suspension and closure of the UI chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which was announced by that fraternity's headquarters on Sept. 24.

Melissa Shaub, director of education and training for the Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity, wrote in an email response to Karnes in that Sept. 25 exchange, "I just keep thinking about where the shot of alcohol was coming from. Sick, sick, sick."

In a Sept. 25 email to an alumni adviser for a different UI fraternity, Karnes said, "Unfortunately, I think that we have other chapters who are doing similar things as that occurred with SAE."

The UI released a second round of emails Tuesday in response to media open records requests about the closing of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter. The new documents come on the heels of about 100 pages of emails the university released last week. Some information was withheld or redacted due to federal privacy laws, UI officials said.

University officials have previously said the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter was suspended and the house closed by the fraternity headquarters after reports of hazing and "unsafe and illegal consumption of alcohol." That fraternity also had several past complaints of hazing in recent years, UI officials said.

National Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials suspended and closed the UI chapter and expelled all members — about 60 — for hazing. UI officials also said they were conducting an investigation into possible individual violations of the Code of Student Life. UI officials last week said those investigations are complete, but said officials cannot release any details about findings or sanctions because of federal privacy laws.
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