University suspends fraternity

The University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been suspended until June 2017.

Keaton Schmitt

A spring Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity investigation found that the fraternity “more likely than not” committed violations of the school’s code of conduct.  
 
The decision to suspend the fraternity was made final by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Hanson  earlier this month. 
 
The alleged violations reach as far back as fall of 2013 and involved incidents of life-threatening overconsumption of alcohol by a minor as well as incidents of hazing.
 
“[The hazing incident] occurred during the initiation of new members in 2013, and included dropping off new members in a remote location with one to two kegs of beer and telling them they had to finish the beer within a certain time limit, among other physical conduct described as hazing,” Provost Karen Hanson’s official decision letter said.
 
The OSCAI investigation found that SAE had more likely than not violated six Student Conduct Code provisions, including the illegal possession of drugs or alcohol as well as providing alcohol to minors.
 
“The evidence showed that alcohol-related misconduct was part of ongoing SAE Big Brother rituals and tradition,” the letter said.
 
Because of the violations, OSCAI proposed an informal resolution to SAE’s chapter leadership, which included, among other punishments, a two-year loss of student group status and supervision by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life of all re-chartering efforts, including recruitment.
 
SAE leaders rejected the resolution and requested a formal hearing.
 
The school’s Student Behavior Committee determined the chapter’s alleged conduct “more likely than not had occurred,” according to the letter.
 
SAE appealed to the behavior committee in July and to the Provost in September and was found responsible in both cases. 
 
Appealing to the Provost is the final appeal process allowed, and the decision is final.
 
SAE has faced sanctions before. In 2012, the school sanctioned the fraternity for the consumption of alcohol on property by minors.
 
The school gave the chapter a warning and mandated requirements on risk management and liability education until May 2013.
 
When SAE is reinstated at the University in 2017, it will face school-mandated extended probation and educational requirements.
 
It is also likely that the chapter will face sanctions from the national SAE organization. 
 
“Our leadership is working to determine the next steps, which will likely involve strong sanctions for the group,” a statement from SAE’s national organization said.