TKE faces hazing allegations, indefinite suspension on campus

The University of Louisville and International Headquarters of Tau Kappa Epsilon are now involved in a joint investigation. Hazing allegations regarding pledges and active members were reported in late February of this year.

“There are about 106 members in the TKE fraternity at U of L, with all active members involved in the allegations.  Their time on campus ranges between their first semester through four years,” said a TKE member who asked that his name not be used.

“Essentially, what happened was pledge activity has been discontinued for the time being, and the reason for that is because we have what you call red binders, and you’re not supposed to carry them at all.  However pledges were forced to carry the binders wherever they went and they were hidden in their backpacks.  That was one of the major allegations because that was put to a stop at the beginning of the year.  The other allegation was that there was severe hazing going on, and it wasn’t really physical hazing but more mental.”

Because a handful of members rather than the entire fraternity was allegedly forced to carry the binders, the act was considered hazing.  If one of the pledges was found without a binder by one of the active brothers, which according to Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Brooke Kingsley Isbell was against policy, he would be scolded.

“In our current investigation we’ve had no reports of physical harm or endangerment of students and their suspension is interim until the investigation is finished,” said Isbell.

When asked to define the allegations of mental hazing, Isbell said that the investigation was still ongoing. Interfraternity Council President Raymond White declined to comment on the matter.

The future of the Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter at U of L is uncertain.  But if the allegations are proven true, TKE could face further suspensions and penalties.

“They have a long road ahead,” said the member of TKE who wished to remain anonymous.”They’ve formed a fairly bad reputation, as they’ve almost been kicked out of the REC Center and multiple other places including restaurants due to their recklessness.  So they’ve got a lot of tension going on. It’ll be hard to make amends, and if they do it could take years.”

Founded on Jan. 10, 1899 at Illinois Wesleyan University, the fraternity includes around 260 chapters located in the U.S. and Canada including U of L’s.  The TKE motto involves personal growth as well as mental and moral development for life.

Photo by Rachel Essa / The Louisville Cardinal

12 thoughts on “TKE faces hazing allegations, indefinite suspension on campus

  1. I laughed out loud when I read the reason for this fraternity’s suspension. Of all the reasons, pledges carrying “red binders” is considered hazing? I guess these fraternities should start admitting anyone and everyone who wants to join without vetting each candidateso no one gets offended or gets their feelings hurt. Let’s punish this organization because they require young men who are seeking membership to commit to something outside of normalcy, such as carrying such a threatening and offensive thing as a red binder. We should be thankful those binders aren’t blue and white… Those kids would probably be expelled right now!

  2. My son is a TKE. He went through the initiation process and yes, he was asked to keep the dreaded Red Binder on him. Here’s why: each pledge was asked to interview the TKE active members and alumni to learn more about the organization and the people involved in it. They were asked to learn about the history and heritage of the fraternity. Each pledge recorded his interview conversation on paper and kept it in the red binder.

    When he was a pledge, my son volunteered to be a designated driver to earn points, he also earned points by caddying for members, by going to intramural events and yes, by painting up. The pledges were told the more points they earned, the better their chances for getting in. Does that sound like horrible hazing – or maybe an incentive for being involved.

    I’m curious though….the “anonymous TKE” you interviewed kept referring to the TKE fraternity as “they” instead of “us” or “we”….so was he really a member ? A TKE member wouldn’t refer to his own fraternity as “they”.

  3. Why would an actual member of the fraternity say “they” rather than “we”? This seems like a classic case of yellow journalism… Whoever wrote this should be ashamed.

  4. If the University decides to punish for having DDs, then the University should be ashamed. The Cardinal should be ashamed for making this a news story.

  5. That is certainly, by no means a form of hazing. TKE has one of the highest GPA of all fraternities and they do a tremendous amount of good for the community. This is absolutely ridiculous!

  6. Sounds like the writer of the article got his ass whooped and didn’t make it in the Greek System..

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