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News, University News

University suspends Sigma Chi fraternity

Fraternity faces five-year ban for hazing, alcohol violations, endangering students

By and
Senior Staff Writers
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Initiated members of Sigma Chi cannot join other fraternities on campus following the group’s suspension Sept. 6.

The University suspended Sigma Chi for five years Sept. 6 after an investigation found the fraternity guilty of hazing and alcohol violations that endangered students.

The investigation, which launched in March, also found the fraternity responsible for misrepresenting information  and violating University operational rules.

Brian Clark, director of news and editorial development, confirmed the suspension in an email to The Herald. “Given the utmost seriousness with which Brown takes hazing incidents, and its expectation that students act with integrity and honesty during the course of an investigation, a number of sanctions will be imposed on the fraternity,” Clark wrote.

Two leaders of Sigma Chi at the time of the violations and the Brown Sigma Chi alumni association did not respond to requests for comment. Three former members declined to comment.

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards notified members of Sigma Chi of their suspension Sept. 6, and the fraternity did not appeal the decision, according to Clark.

During the suspension period, which extends to fall 2024, Sigma Chi “may not operate in any capacity and loses all rights and privileges associated with being a recognized student group at the University,” Clark wrote. Initiated members of Sigma Chi are ineligible to join any other Greek organization at Brown, he added.

Sigma Chi’s suspension comes after the University instructed the organization April 1 to cease all of its on- and off-campus activities over the course of the investigation. Over the summer, the University revoked Sigma Chi’s housing privileges for this academic year while the investigation was still ongoing, The Herald previously reported.

In addition to sanctioning Sigma Chi, “individual students found responsible for violations are subject to sanctions as well,” Clark wrote. University and federal policies limit what school officials can share regarding individual cases, he added.

The University has previously taken disciplinary action against other student groups found guilty of violating the Student Code of Conduct. For instance, Buxton International House, which can return in fall 2020, lost its housing privileges in January 2019 for unauthorized possession of alcohol, The Herald previously reported. In 2015, fraternity Phi Kappa Psi lost its recognition and housing privileges after a University investigation found a “strong likelihood” that two students were given alcohol “and/or some other drug diminishing their normal functions to a degree that placed them at risk of harm” at the group’s party, according to a community-wide email sent by University administrators.

Sigma Chi had been on the University’s campus since 1914. Following the suspension period, the organization will be able to petition for reinstatement.

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