Two UNH Fraternities Found Responsible for Code Violations; Sanctions Announced, Pending Approval

Contact: Kim Billings
UNH Media Relations

December 17, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. – Two fraternities at the University of New Hampshire have been found responsible for student conduct violations that occurred earlier in the fall semester. Disciplinary sanctions, listed below, are pending appeal. Each chapter has two days to appeal their respective sanctions.

The two fraternities – Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) and Phi Kappa Sigma (PKS)– were found responsible for hosting overcrowded parties earlier in the semester. Each of the cases also is being prosecuted through the criminal justice system for felony charges of violating fire codes.

Specifically, the two fraternities were charged with conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of others. As part of the sanctions for both ATO and PKS, the chapters are not allowed to host any events through Jan. 30, 2005, on any UNH-recognized chapter property. An event is any fraternity hosted, sponsored, or co-sponsored gathering, including a minimum of three members of the fraternity, totaling more than 49 guests -- in accordance with National Fire Prevention Academy standards. The chapters also are on disciplinary probation through May 30, 2005.

At least 90 percent of ATO and PKS members must participate in an approved Fire and Life Safety Program with the Durham/UNH Fire Department by Dec. 30, 2004. In addition, both ATO and PKS members must develop a written plan with steps to comply with fire and safety issues, such as ways to keep accurate counts through the evening for an event, and to have accountability for those who are responsible for guest attendance. This plan must be submitted to and discussed with the fire inspector or fire marshal by May, 2004.

PKS also must have bi-monthly fire inspections through May 30, 2005.

Both fraternities had their privileges for hosting social events suspended on Oct. 6, pending the outcome of their hearings.