BRIEF: Student’s parents demand to know SIUE’s plan to address Kappa Sigma racist, homophobic harassment

SIUE student Arluan Van Hook met with university administrators today, Nov. 18, about his reports of hazing, racist and homophobic slurs by Kappa Sigma fraternity members. Van Hook said that for the meeting he could only have one person accompany him. He had to choose between having an attorney at the meeting or one of his parents. He took his legal counsel, who Van Hook said was not allowed to speak. 

His mother, Reisa Van Hook, stood in the quad with a sign that read: “Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Waple shame on you!”

She addressed a group of students, reaching around 50 at its peak, about her son’s experiences. Several students stepped up and talked about their feelings on the incident and the university administration’s handling of it.

Mrs. Van Hook thanked those gathered for their time and asked that they ask the administration what their plans are, as she is asking. One person in the group asked where the meeting was which then led to others in the group encouraging everyone there to go to the meeting.

Twenty five of the students gathered on the Quad walked to Rendleman Hall with Mrs. Van Hook. They continued the conversation with her and her husband and Arluan’s father, Arlando Van Hook, while they waited for the meeting to end. 

After the meeting, Arluan said he wasn’t happy with the meeting and that the university is trying to cover up his report against Kappa Sigma. Arluan’s parents’ conversation with students echoed that.

Students discussed making petitions to support him, and he said he would create a social media page to update students about his case. 

Assistant Professors of Social Work Jill Schreiber and Ariel Jones brought some of their students to stand in solidarity with the Van Hook family.

Schreiber suggested the family take their concerns to Provost Denise Cobb. Schreiber took the group to Cobb’s office, but Cobb was not there. From there, they went to see Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Jessica Harris in the Chancellor’s Suite. 

Harris took the family and the group of supporters into a conference room to talk to them directly. Mrs. Van Hook expressed her concerns about Harris not being involved in the investigation. Harris apologized on behalf of the university and said she would be in touch with the family and other members of university administration.

“This is my job and I apologize on behalf of the university,” Harris said. 

The Alestle will continue to provide updates as this story develops.


November 20, 2021 at 07:49AM

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