About 30 University of South Carolina students living in the Kappa Sigma house in the Greek Village will need to find new housing before the new semester starts Jan. 12.
Circuit Judge Casey Manning on Tuesday denied a request that would have allowed the fraternity members to continue living in the house after the chapter lost its charter.
Last month, Kappa Sigma’s national office withdrew the local chapter’s charter for five years after an investigation found hazing and alcohol and drug violations, according to an email sent to members, alumni and parents. The chapter will appeal that decision at a hearing in February.
In his decision, Manning, a 1973 graduate of the university and 1977 graduate of the Law School, said the housemother and students could suffer injury isn’t the same as the plaintiff suffering injury. In this case, he said, the plaintiff is a private corporation — Kappa Sigma Housing Corp. of Columbia.
Manning also said the Kappa Sigma housemother and students did not present any facts supporting irreparable harm.
Instead, they “merely state that if the students had to move they would suffer a hardship. This purported harm does not rise to the level of irreparable harm.”
Houses in the Greek Village are home to fraternity and sorority chapters, but the houses are owned by separate boards.
The Kappa Sigma Housing Corp. of Columbia stands to lose $320,000 in housing-and-dining fees if the $1.7 million house is empty for the spring semester, Housing Corp. attorney Everett Kendall told Manning during the hearing last week.
Kendall said then that USC failed to follow the 40-year lease agreement for property in its Greek Village when it did not provide 30-days notice that it was evicting members and give Housing Corp. a yearlong chance to find new tenants for the house. The school also did not allow chapter members to go through the appeals process before kicking them out, he said.