SGA suspends Chi Alpha for reported infractions

Spectator
Edinboro University of Pennslyvania
Chi Alpha is suspended by SGA

By Grace Lehrian
News Editor/Spectator

The Edinboro Student Government Association (SGA) has suspended Chi Alpha, the biggest fraternity on Edinboro’s campus, for two years.

SGA made the decision based on reported findings in which Chi Alpha had failed to comply with the rules and regulations set by the campus government. Chi Alpha is a religious organization, “affiliated with The Assemblies of God.”

Megan Kupniewski, part of the SGA Parliament, spoke on their behalf, addressing what played into the decision, “Chi Alpha has failed to comply with SGA’s financial procedures, Chi Alpha did not hold an election of officers per Article III, Section 3 of the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship Constitution.”

She would continue to detail the reported infractions, stating, “Chi Alpha has no record of an existing student executive board. Chi Alpha has not appropriately applied for approval for fundraising, provided a record of accounting and deposited monies fundraised with EUSGA. Chi Alpha has violated Edinboro University, EUSGA and its own organization’s constitution with respect to the Code of Conduct barring harassment and intimidation against its student members.”

The suspension of Chi Alpha means that they will be limited in their activities for the next two years, according to the SGA.

“While this suspension remains in effect, Chi Alpha, its members, associates and affiliates will not be permitted to utilize university facilities, petition for funds from EUSGA or engage in or have access to privileges generally available to any and all EUSGA recognized student organizations,” said Kupniewski.

Chi Alpha is able to reverse the suspension if they wish to do so. In order to do so, they will have to prove to the Student Government Association that they have made “modifications to its operation.”

When asked for comment on the allegations, president of Chi Alpha, Lindsay Clark stated, “Chi Alpha will work toward aligning its structure to university policies. However, we whole heartedly deny the accusations of harassment and intimidation. For all of the 8 years Chi Alpha has been in existence at Edinboro University, students (currently numbered at over 150) have consistently commented on the added value and benefit of this student organization to their academic experience and personal development.”

Although they are suspended from using the university’s facilities, they are allowed to meet off campus to conduct their meetings. Ciara Smith, a broadcast journalism major at Edinboro University is part of Chi Alpha. She explained to the extent of her knowledge, what is going on between the two organizations.

“I know there was either a misunderstanding or an issue where there were paperwork mis-signings, I guess. Where they weren’t being signed by the same faculty…I wasn’t aware that we didn’t elect leaders,” said Smith.

Chi Alpha is an organization that many students enjoy on our campus. This was the case for Smith in her first year at Edinboro.

“When I first [joined], like my freshman year, Chi Alpha was like my safe haven almost. It made me feel more comfortable being here throughout my issues my freshman year. It was more of a comfort…a comfortable place,” said Smith.

Smith was encouraged by her friends to go to the meetings for the first few times to see if it was something that she would want to participate in.

“My friends that I finally met right before the end of my freshman first semester asked if I wanted to go with them and I agreed. I actually really enjoyed it after that,” said Smith.

The news that Chi Alpha was suspended for two years seemed to shock Smith and she agreed that some of the situation has been blown out of proportion on social media with rumors spreading about why the group was suspended.

“I would say so; I’m not 100 percent aware of what has been going on. I’ve seen it on different social media sites and I just feel like it’s an issue that needs to be brought up between the two people that are involved, which I guess is SGA and Chi Alpha, more than everyone else who may attend, or people who don’t know anything about the situation that just want to overdo it,” said Smith.

Smith seemed to be understanding of the decision the Student Government Association made, but she suggested that they try a different method other than suspending the group for such an extended period of time.

“I mean, I understand from SGA’s perspective how they have to run things orderly, how it’s a legitimate thing where they take it seriously. It’s not just like something you just throw around. So, I guess on their half, it makes sense why they are [delivering this punishment], but I also feel like it could be worked out and negotiated if they both sat down and heard both sides of the situation,” said Smith.

Smith seemed to be shocked by the allegations that Chi Alpha had been harassing and intimidating their members. She had not heard of anyone being the subject of such behavior.

“I’m not 100 percent sure. I mean I am a regular attender, but I’m not too in the know with everything that has been going on. I know some people who have felt that way, and then some people who are just like me, that enjoy getting what the organization is really about.

“I enjoy my time with Chi Alpha,” said Smith.

Chi Alpha still conducts their regular meetings on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the off campus center.  They are unable to ask for funding from the Student Government Association at the time, but are still planning to go on their annual trips, as well.

Grace Lehrian is the news editor The Spectator. She can be reached by eupnews.spectator@gmail.com