â€œThe University is reviewing complaints and following up with complainants and the fellowship,â€ Riley said in the email before BU’s Kappa Sigma chapter, Mu Psi, was suspended. â€œBU is strongly committed to fostering an environment free from sexual misconduct, and we consistently hold students accountable for violations of the Student Responsibility Code with disciplinary sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion. “
Battaglino’s letter did not mention the allegations of sexual misconduct, according to BU Today, but instead said: “The fellowship is on hold because it reunited after it was explicitly told not to do so” .
Emails and texts requesting feedback from Kappa Sigma’s student leadership at BU were not returned.
Rachel Lapal Cavallario, spokesperson for the university, said Thursday morning that an “investigation was underway” into the allegations. She refused to publish a copy of Battaglino’s letter.
The unrest on campus culminated with a protest outside the Kappa Sigma House in Allston on Saturday as students called on BU to take swift action and suspend the fellowship chapter. Two organizers who spoke to The Globe said the students were protesting what some believe is a model of sexual misconduct at the fraternity.
â€œThis is a problem in a lot of fraternities on campus, but [Kappa Sigma] is the larger fraternity, so they’re at the center of the problem, â€Yashica Kataria, a state university student and co-founder of advocacy group Campus Survivors, said in an interview Thursday. â€œWe heard from a lot of survivors about them, and the complaints really picked up at the start of this semester. “
The brotherhood said last week he had suspended two members for alleged violations of his driving conditions, according to Mitchell Wilson, executive director of the national chapter of Kappa Sigma.
“The Brotherhood has a very strict code of conduct that strictly prohibits assault in any form,” Wilson said in a statement to the Globe last Friday.
BU administrators told Kappa Sigma on Friday that while the complaints are investigated, the chapter would be required to have activities approved by the university in advance, Cavallario said in an email. But the fraternity, according to Cavallario’s statement, organized a social gathering on the same day and a meeting on Monday without notify the administration.
During the demonstration on Saturday, the student organizers made three demands: the dissolution of the Kappa Sigma chapter of BU; that the university commit to â€œsuspend, revoke and dissolve organizations that have a history of membership involved in cases and allegations of sexual misconductâ€; and for administrators to recognize the university’s role in “making campus a hard place for survivors.”
“We really want to see a change, a fundamental change,” Kristen Schallert, chair of It’s on Us at BU, which provides support and resources to survivors of sexual assault, told The Globe on Friday. “Many of us are hoping that with enough people and voices, the university will hear us out and start with any process to take action against the chapter.”
BU’s student government passed a motion on Monday supporting calls for the suspension of Kappa Sigma.
The fraternity was suspended in 2015 for alleged involvement in promoting a party using misogynistic and sexually suggestive photos and videos.
In February, some 600 students blanketed the campus with flyers and chalk messages condemning the school’s handling of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Kataria said she saw dozens of anonymous allegations about Kappa Sigma members submitted to Campus Survivors’ Instagram account. While she would have liked the BU suspension to directly resolve the allegations against the fraternity, any action is hopeful, she said.
â€œIn this kind of situation where we’re dealing with something where people don’t take it as seriously as they should be, everything looks like a win no matter how small it is. Kataria said.