On Tuesday, Penn State called evidence that Kappa Delta Rho fraternity members had posted pictures of nude, unconscious women on Facebook “appalling, offensive and inconsistent with the university community’s values and expectations.” On the same day, a statement by the national Sigma Chi organization described the possibly criminal hazing activities for which its University of Houston chapter had been suspended as “inconsistent with our values.”
Both incidents were reminiscent of a statement made earlier this month by the University of Washington, which called racial slurs allegedly shouted at Black Lives Matter protesters by Sigma Alpha Epsilon members “completely inconsistent with the university’s values and expectations.”
The University of Washington’s statement was reminiscent of one voted on in February by the University of South Carolina board of trustees, which condemned hazing practices that had led to the suspension of four fraternities as “inconsistent with the Carolinian Creed and the values and campus community standards at the University of South Carolina.”
Observers may have noted that South Carolina’s statement was reminiscent of several declarations made in January, when Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national organization issued a statement that described the alleged behavior of an Iowa State member accused of sexual assault as “inconsistent with our values” and a different statement that described that the alleged rape of a woman at a Loyola Marymount chapter’s party as “inconsistent with our values.” In the same month a statement by the University of Michigan’s Sigma Alpha Mu chapter described its members’ behavior (causing $50,000 in damage to a ski resort) as “inconsistent with the values, policies, and practices of this organization.”*
The January statements may have reminded some readers of a story from December, when a Sigma Alpha Epsilon statement described the alleged rape of a woman by two nonmembers at a Johns Hopkins chapter party as “inconsistent with our values.”
SAE’s statement on that occasion was reminiscent of its own statement from the previous month, one which described an alleged anti-Semitic assault committed by four members of its University of Arizona chapter as “inconsistent with our values.”
In October a University of Southern Mississippi statement described an incident that led to the death of two birds and a criminal charge of animal cruelty against a Pi Kappa Alpha member as “inconsistent with the values of our institution.”
In September there were no reported incidents of fraternity members behaving in ways inconsistent with anyone’s values. Call it a summer break hangover.
*Correction, March 18, 2015: This post originally misspelled Sigma Alpha Mu.