Healing another black eye


We never hope to report on a shooting or an alleged beating. It’s not what we would like to fill the pages of The Jambar.

We prefer to write about Zeta Tau Alpha’s efforts to raise money for breast cancer, Alpha Xi Delta’s autism awareness programs or Sigma Chi’s work with the Children’s Miracle Network, to name a few.

But, unfortunately, these aren’t the events that leave a lasting impression on our campus. 

The community remembers hazing allegations and a senseless shooting.

When students enroll at a university and decide to be a part of the Greek system, they commit to a brotherhood or a sisterhood that we can’t begin to imagine. And when they adorn themselves with Greek letters, they also carry the YSU name.

There’s speculation about Kappa Alpha Psi’s affiliation at YSU, but the university’s website promotes the fraternity as “currently the oldest chapter of any fraternity at YSU” that adheres to a national program for “mentoring young black males.”

The charges against Kappa Alpha Psi’s former and current students tarnish the entire Greek system and YSU. They also add to a longstanding reputation that Youngstown is an unsavory and dangerous place to live.

The Signal, Georgia State University’s student newspaper, reported that in June 2010, GSU permanently suspended its chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi due to an alleged hazing.

On Dec. 16, 2009, GSU’s board of trustees concluded that a student attempting to join the fraternity was “slapped in the face three times and punched in the stomach, an area of his body that had a surgical scar from a previous injury.”

What does this say about Kappa Alpha Psi? 

We understand that this is just one example of another alleged hazing, but the point is the light the fraternity is shining on its storied history and reputation.

Fraternities that have a history of hazing may be nationally recognized, but our university has no obligation to ever make that same recognition.

YSU President Cynthia Anderson struck quickly and efficiently by suspending Kappa Alpha Psi’s chapter here, and praise is deserved.

But simply reminding the chapters about prohibited activity may not be sufficient.

While direct oversight is challenging, the student affairs office needs to remain open to new ideas and examine possible remedies to prevent future occurrences.

YSU can’t afford another black eye.