Update: May 24, 12:38 a.m. The UO Chapter of Lambda Alpha Chi released an official statement Monday evening apologizing for “any destruction of the Lake Shasta resort and the surrounding environment,” and pledged to work with the U.S. forest service to arrange a clean up crew. The statement also echoed the chapter’s suspension until an investigation is complete.
In a statement posted on the University of Oregon’s blog Monday afternoon, VP of Student Life Robin Holmes said UO Lambda Chi Alpha’s activities have been suspended by its national leadership following a littering incident at Shasta Lake last weekend.
“We hope other national organizations follow their lead,” Holmes wrote.
The suspension is in response to a viral Facebook post about littering at Shasta Lake, which included a photo of a left-behind cooler decorated with Lambda Chi Alpha letters and the phrase “Do you wanna do some blow man?” In addition to the suspension, the fraternity’s national leadership is partnering with UO Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Justin Shukas to investigate its local chapter’s involvement.
“We are aware of those photos and we are doing an investigation,” said Tad Lichtenauer, director of communications for Lambda Chi Alpha’s national headquarters. “[What happened] is not an appropriate way to display our letters … We have clear standards and that clearly isn’t meeting them.”
Oregon’s Lambda Chi Alpha is currently on disciplinary probation until mid-June for “alcohol violation, disrupting University, and failure to comply with university,” according to the UO Fraternity Life’s conduct page. The group’s Facebook page is also unavailable.
In a phone call Monday evening, Holmes said the university has very little oversight over the annual trips that UO students make to Shasta Lake, adding that it is not a university-sanctioned event.
“We received several phone calls, and emails and Facebook messages early this morning,” said Holmes, whose statement called the state of the lake’s “Slaughterhouse Island” last weekend a “disgrace.”
Holmes said the university’s first step was to call the forestry service in charge of overseeing Shasta Lake. Because the UO rules of the university conduct code extend off-campus, the university is able to take action against any student it confirms was involved in the incident. But according to Holmes, it’s all hearsay for now.
“All we have is what other people saw,” she said via telephone. “We have no idea who was there or wasn’t there.”
The leadership of Fraternity and Sorority Life couldn’t confirm which chapters were present last weekend at Shasta Lake.
“Nothing about specific members has come to our attention,” said Evan Anderson, the president of the UO Interfraternity Council.
Anderson said he’s “been in contact with chapter presidents” to “come up with some solutions about how to right some wrongs.” That includes sending a clean-up crew with representation from “chapters that may or may not have been involved” or “donating and fundraising to the Shasta wildlife area.”
According to Willamette Week, a spokeswoman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said 10 yards of trash have already been collected from the site.
Follow Dahlia Bazzaz on Twitter @dahliabazzaz