After the February car crash that left VCU student Carolina Perez dead, the driver of the other car, VCU senior accounting major Varinder “Vick” Chahal faces a possible 20-year jail sentence, punishment from the university and potential removal from his fraternity, Sigma Beta Rho.
Chahal is charged with felony manslaughter, driving under the influence and refusal to submit to a blood or breath test. On Feb. 27, Chahal was granted $25,000 bond in order for him to return to school.
VCU could not confirm if he would be returning to campus this semester, but they did confirm he is still enrolled at the university.
According to Brooke Isbell, a coordinator for VCU Fraternity and Sorority Life, Greek students are subject to the same disciplinary processes as any other VCU student.
“There is a possibility that there can be further repercussions that are handled internally, chapter by chapter,” she said.
Isbell said that if a problem is one that affects a whole chapter, the larger council steps in, but VCU Fraternity and Sorority Life does not hold administrative hearings.
Isbell said not all disciplinary issues warrant further involvement from the Greek community, but some situations, like minor consumption or possession of alcohol or any sort of arrest are examples of what could warrant a chapter to look into punishing a member.
Sigma Beta Rho’s official constitution requires that members “preserve and promote by all honorable means the interests and good name of the Fraternity, its Members and its Chapters.”
The constitution also explicitly states that any member of the Sigma Beta Rho fraternity must abide by federal, state, provincial and local rules and regulations. If a member does not, it is grounds for expulsion or suspension from the fraternity.
Isbell could not comment on Chahal’s situation nor could she comment on whether or not VCU’s Sigma Beta Rho chapter would take action against Chahal.
Members of Sigma Beta Rho and the Multicultural Greek Council could not be reached for comment.
The Multicultural Greek Council’s official constitution is available only to members through VCU’s Blackboard system.
Even if the fraternity chooses not to take action to punish Chahal, VCU policy requires that any student charged with a crime be convicted before the university takes any disciplinary action against the student.
If convicted, the student can be subjected to further punishment by the university at the discretion of the provost.
The student’s case would then be sent to a University Hearing Board, made up of one student, faculty member, administrator, classified staff member and faculty chairperson. Any punishment is determined by this board.
A student’s case can be reheard by a similar panel, but the president makes the final decision in an appeals case.