Fraternity Slams the Breaks on Rogue Chapter

     (CN) – A Texas fraternity chapter went “rogue” after its national order suspended it for hazing and sponsoring “live sex acts” in the frat house, but the students have no claim to certain property, including member dues, furniture and the members’ residence, the order claims in county court.
     The Kappa Alpha Order traces its roots back to 1865 in Lexington, Va. It notes that it is a “religious in feeling” group, of the Judeo Christian ethic, “pledged to the preservation of the highest ideals of gentlemanly conduct among its members.”
     But this summer, the order says it had to impose a one-year suspension of the Omicron chapter, which was chartered at the University of Texas at Austin in 1883.
     An investigation showed that the frat had hosted “professional exotic dancers performing live sex acts for recruitment purposes,” hazed members and let senior female members to haze new inductees of an unauthorized “little sister” group, according to the complaint filed the District Court of Travis County, Texas.
     A month after the order suspended the Omicron chapter in June, two alumni informed it that the chapter was disassociating, effective immediately, along with the Kappa Alpha Educational Corp, which holds the legal title to the fraternity house for members of Kappa Alpha’s Omicron order, according to the complaint.
     “The rogue group, which has now rejected the principles of Kappa Alpha order, calls itself Texas Omicron, and the KA Educational Corporation has renamed itself UT Texas Omicron Educational Corporation and attempted to change its membership and purpose to depart from assisting and housing members of the Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order,” the complaint states.
     Kappa Alpha says, however, that Omicron gave up any right to frat property by withdrawing.
     “Without authorization from Kappa Alpha Order and in violation of Kappa Alpha Order law, the former members of the Omicron Chapter and KA Educational Corp. illegally transferred possession of all accounts and the personal property of the Omicron chapter of Kappa Alpha Order to defendants Texas Omicron and UT Texas Omicron Educational Corp.,” according to the suit.
     The order says Omicron should turn over all dues collected before the dissociation on July 22, and any funds meant for Kappa Alpha collected after that date; the order’s “other personal property;” the frat house in Austin; and all furnishings, kitchen appliances, utensils, artwork, and equipment for that property.
     Omicron has also committed interference by encouraging former members and alumni to dissociate from Kappa Alpha in support of Texas Omicron, according to the complaint.
     Moreover, the order claims that Texas Omicron still claims association with Kappa Alpha Order and recruits members, despite the break.
     Kappa Alpha says Omicron breached its contract and committed tortious interference and conversion. In addition to return of the property, the order seeks actual damages and a ruling that voids the title holder’s new certificate of formation. It is represented by Jim Ewbank with Ewbank & Harris.

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