LSU Greek Life investigation began after former fraternity council president made DKE hazing allegation | News


LSU’s former Interfraternity Council president has confirmed that he was a key figure in the university’s recent investigation into whether school officials had past knowledge of hazing allegations at Delta Kappa Epsilon, while LSU officials have also shed new light on the narrow scope of that probe.

Several observers — including the family of Max Gruver, who died in a 2017 hazing incident at LSU — called on the university earlier this week to release more information from their investigation about whether officials failed to properly act on earlier complaints about hazing at DKE.

LSU officials say they do not have a written report with the results of the investigation. But administrators this week confirmed that they opened the investigation on Feb. 15, after former LSU Interfraternity Council President Christopher Dupré told The Advocate it had been well-known within Greek circles that “things just weren’t right at DKE.”

At the time, Dupré said he had previously reported his suspicions to LSU staff, but that higher-ups did not follow up on them. It’s an allegation that Dupré stands by today. But LSU officials say their investigation fully exonerated staff members, finding they never received such a complaint.

LSU placed multiple administrators connected to Greek life on leave Friday, a month after the university quietly parted ways with another top-…

LSU hired the Taylor Porter law firm to investigate Dupré’s allegation. Dupré said late Monday that Taylor Porter’s counsel had interviewed him as part of its probe.

Dupré said he first highlighted allegations of problems at DKE in October, in a meeting he said included LSU Greek Life Director Angela Guillory, Assistant Greek Life Director Donald Abels, Dean of Students Mari Fuentes-Martin and former Vice President of Student Affairs Kurt Keppler, along with other students and at least one alumnus. There’s broad agreement that the meeting occurred — though Dupré and LSU officials disagree on whether LSU Police Chief Bart Thompson was also present — but when it comes to what was said, the accounts conflict.

Thomas Skinner, LSU’s general counsel and vice president for legal affairs, said Taylor Porter’s investigation included interviews with four LSU employees and four others, both students and alumni, who were alleged to be present when Dupré reported his concerns.

“None of what Chris said was borne out by any of the other eight people in that room,” Skinner said.

The family of Max Gruver and other advocates are calling on LSU to release findings from a recent investigation into how university officials …

About a month later, Dupré said he followed up again on the concerns with Guillory and Abels. LSU said they found no evidence of a follow-up discussion about DKE, and that they scoured emails, meeting notes and other internal communications to try to verify it.

“To be quite honest with you, I am frankly disgusted right now about it all, because … I’m not just another student,” Dupré, who is a recent LSU graduate, said this week. “I would hope that as an IFC president, when I say something, there is a seriousness of what I say is taken.”

Skinner said LSU did take Dupré seriously — in fact, he notes, the university took the highly unusual step of suspending multiple administrators while bringing in Taylor Porter to investigate his claims.

“We take that kind of thing incredibly seriously, now more than ever,” Skinner said.

But based on the interviews that Taylor Porter performed, Skinner said the law firm determined LSU officials had not received specific complaints about hazing at DKE during the October meeting. Dupré described the meeting as being about tailgating, while LSU said a gameday incident involving another fraternity prompted the meeting. All agree that DKE was mentioned at one point.

No one was safe from mockery when LSU’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity members sat down to craft their gameday banners.

But while Dupré remembers a robust conversation around the culture of DKE and said he mentioned an allegation within that context, LSU said that none of the other eight people present remembered Dupré bringing up hazing at DKE.

Dupré remains frustrated that no real action was undertaken after he raised his concerns. He said he felt obligated to report problems at DKE because he was ingrained in the Greek community, knew its challenges and wanted to make it better — and he hoped someone would listen. LSU, however, said they turned over every rock they could to try to corroborate Dupré’s version of events.

“I’m not retracting anything that I’ve said to you,” Dupré said. “Everything I’ve said to you I still 100 percent believe in, I still 100 percent support. Anything that I had told anyone I haven’t hyperbolized, I haven’t demeaned. Everything that I’ve said is as I remember.”

Aside from Dupré’s allegations, The Advocate recently reported that LSU administrators recorded at least two other reports of misbehavior at DKE within the past three years. The handling of those reports were not included in the scope of the Taylor Porter investigation.

LSU officials received at least two specific warnings over the past three years about problems at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, records …

Skinner said, though, that LSU administrators had reviewed the handling of those claims, along with other reports of hazing.

“We are satisfied that what was done at the time was as much as could reasonably be expected — we ran up against a wall eventually because we had no witnesses and no evidence,” he said.

LSU’s DKE chapter was shut down in January, but not because of a university-led investigation. The closure order came from DKE’s national chapter, which itself investigated allegations of hazing from a grandfather who reported hazing wounds on his grandson.

A month afterward, police arrested nine members of DKE on hazing counts.

At least two other LSU fraternities — Kappa Sigma and Pi Kappa Phi — are under current police investigations for hazing, as well.

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​



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