Risk Management Scenario Spring 2016:
Imagine a Spring weekend after midterms. Only a few Brothers remain around campus for the weekend. Two Brothers, Cadet and Russell, arranged a gathering at one of their houses and invited other Brothers on the Chapter’s Facebook page to enjoy some grilling and drinking beer. As the night starts off, it is fairly low-key. People are tossing bags, listening to music, and hanging out. Around 9 pm, other people started showing up, and the gathering starts to get cramped and loud. By 10 pm attendees decided to move the party a couple miles away to the downtown strip of bars. Brother Cadet chose to drive a few people since “he’d only had a couple beers.”
On the way, Brother Cadet incidentally rear-ended a car in front of him, barely making contact. No one seemed terribly hurt, but the accident was reported and Brother Cadet blew a 0.1 when the police gave him a breathalyzer test. The police arrested him for a DUI. Come Monday morning, he was fearful of what the State Board and his college might do with him. He asked all his friends not to say anything until he could figure out what he needed to do.
Option 1: After much debate, Brother Cadet sought out advice from his GCD. Dr. Hands listened carefully and recommended he seek legal advice, and report the arrest as was necessary with the State Board and College statutes. Dr. Hands also inquired about the event, Brother Cadet’s history of drinking and driving, and whether drinking was an issue. He informed Brother Cadet that he would be inquiring to others present regarding the event. A short few days later, Dr. Hands discussed with his Chapter Executive Board regarding the event being posted on Facebook, Brothers not choosing to get a cab or Uber and what could have happened if something more serious occurred. He asked for a report to be completed and submitted to the College and Kappa Psi Central Office detailing what happened and the Chapter’s action plan to prevent future incidents. Dr. Hands tasked the Chapter Sergeant-at-arms and Risk Management Committee to develop a presentation to be delivered to the Chapter and Province levels on what a “Kappa Psi Party” may look like, the gray line between official and unofficial gatherings, and how to effectively mitigate future risks. Brother Cadet ended up needing to navigate many hurdles as he worked himself back into a favorable position with the College and the Board of Pharmacy and Legal system, but his Brothers were walking with him every step of the way.
Option 2: After much debate, Brother Cadet asked everyone to stay quiet about the incident. However, one of the passengers in the car he rear-ended sought medical attention with neck issues. She underwent months of therapy and pursued legal action. The passenger was frustrated by what she saw as a bunch of fraternity kids running amuck. The College administration found out about the accident the same day the lawsuit was filed. Dr. Hands, the GCD, was shocked when the Dean approached him about the incident. Dr. Hands promised full cooperation with the College. After some investigation, Dr. Hands found out details of the night leading up to the accident including the intentional hiding of information by some of his Chapter’s Executive Board. Dr. Hands kept hearing over and over again from the Brothers he interviewed that “it wasn’t a Kappa Psi party”, “We’ve done these parties before”, “Brother Cadet wasn’t drunk” ,and “It wasn’t our place to stop him from driving”. Dr. Hands immediately reached out to the Grand Regent/Central Office. He expressed his struggle with obtaining information from the Brothers as well as the pending college and legal involvement. The Grand Regent stated the Executive Committee would get involved with the serious nature of this occurrence. Brother Cadet has found himself treading through serious legal matters, issues from the State Board and College from a lack of reporting a serious incident, and consequences of Chapter repercussions.
Questions to discuss:
1. Does this type of gathering violate Kappa Psi’s Risk Management Policy? Why or why not? a. What should have been done to prevent this type of occurrence?
2. If a Brother knows of a potential violation, are they required to come forth? Should they come forth?
3. What were the pros and cons of each of Brother Cadet’s options? Could there have been an alternative?
4. When incidents occur, who should be told? At what point should the GCD be approached?
5. Could this happen at your Chapter? If so, what can your Chapter do to minimize the risks of such an incident?