In a mix of confusion, lies and bad behavior, it was announced Tuesday that the university could lose another well-established fraternity.
Due to the recent suspension from national headquarters, members of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity are not only lacking a charter on their walls, but also are possibly becoming the newest additions to Knoxville's tight housing market.
The decision was handed down Tuesday when national headquarters declared that it had enough substantive evidence to force a suspension of the organization pending a 10-to-14 day investigation.
According to Larry Wiese, executive director for KA headquarters, the national office is investigating acts which "contradict with national policies and procedures."
The president of the chapter at the University of Tennessee, Patrick Diener, pointed out several incidences that he felt could have lead to the action.
Diener said one such incident involved the fraternity's tradition of cock fighting and gambling in the house's basement.
"It wasn't that big of a deal with nationals. They let us go with that," Diener said.
The president said that headquarters were also disappointed in the organization's use of strippers for entertainment purposes.
"We usually hire a stripper about once a week ... but (in fraternities) it's not something that anyone talks about," Diener said. "But this wasn't even the least of headquarters' worries."
Diener said the last straw came when the national office discovered the chapter's recreational boxing tournament in which members recruited local homeless persons, "liquored" them up, gave them large boxing gloves and "let them go to town."
The junior in hotel and restaurant management said events such as these happened frequently in the past decade, but the new national officers would not allow it.
Another KA member, Robert Sawyer, a senior in College Scholars, collaborated the account given by the fraternity president.
However, Sawyer later recanted his story and said that everything he and the organization's president said were complete lies.
"Pretty much everything I told you wasn't true. I was frustrated over all of this stuff, and I thought that it would be printed even though it wasn't true, so it'd be like an inside joke, but it was mistake."
Although he said his actions will reflect poorly on the image of the Greek community, Sawyer said he was remorseful and apologetic.
"To be honest, I think it reflects more poorly on me, than the fraternity or anyone else. I guess, looking at it from my perspective, I was thinking that 'we're all off campus and if there's no more KA,' I rationalized lying."
Sawyer said he was not actively involved in any of the behavior that lead to the disciplinary actions against the fraternity.
"I didn't have anything to do with whatever they were kicked off for. I'm not a mainstream guy in the fraternity. I don't bear any ill will toward KA, but I don't have much to do with that fraternity anymore."
Sawyer said scrutiny from nationals was probably due to past problems in the fraternity.
"We've kind of been in the bad with nationals when we got in probation few years ago. To be honest I could think of a bunch (of reasons), but it wouldn't be fair to tell you and add to the speculation."
The Jan. 10, 2001 issue of The Daily Beacon reported that KA was suspended for a year in 1999 when some of the members were involved in the theft of Christmas decorations in Sequoyah Hills.
The chapter was sanctioned by the Interfraternity Council Judicial Board last year to be on social probation for a year and to perform community service.
There is currently an on-going disciplinary investigation of KA's recent actions by both the national chapter of KA and the university.
KA facing suspension pending inquiry
Published: Wed Feb 20, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:06 p.m.