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University concerns prompt Sigma Chi fraternity to lose housing privileges

Fraternity also restricted from organizing any activity amid investigation

Earlier this month, the Student Activities Office revoked Sigma Chi’s housing privileges for the upcoming academic year.

The SAO made the decision after reviewing the details of an ongoing University investigation into the fraternity, which began last spring following reports of alleged code of conduct violations.

In an email sent to fraternity members July 8, SAO Director Joie Steele wrote that her office identified “several significant concerns around risk management and student safety” within the fraternity.

The email did not specify the alleged conduct violations that prompted the investigation. Neither leadership for the fraternity nor their alumni association responded to multiple requests for comment. 

University officials are limited in what they can publicly share about the ongoing investigation due to University and federal policies that protect the privacy of student records, wrote Brian Clark, the Director of News and Editorial Development, in an email to The Herald. 

The decision from SAO marks the latest action taken against the campus fraternity during the University’s investigation. On April 1, the University instructed Sigma Chi to temporarily cease all of its organized activities on- and off-campus until the investigation’s conclusion, according to the email. The fraternity is currently forbidden from holding meetings, social events or philanthropy events. 

The requirement to cease activities is not atypical and is a measure that can be employed based on the specifics of the alleged violations,” Clark wrote. 

The Office of Residential Life will reassign housing to all students in Sigma Chi’s housing allotment for fall 2019. 

In recent history, other student groups have faced similar repercussions after facing allegations of violating the Student Code of Conduct. Buxton International House, which will return in fall 2020, lost housing privileges in January 2019 for unauthorized possession of alcohol. The fraternity Phi Kappa Psi lost housing and University recognition in 2015 when the University found a "strong likelihood" that two students were "administered 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 at the time.

In addition to losing housing privileges, Sigma Chi will no longer have private access to the lounge, library or basement spaces in Olney House, where members previously lived, according to the email. They are also unable to use any University facilities for fraternity activities.

Sigma Chi has been on the University’s campus since 1914.

Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi previously lost housing and University recognition "when the University found the group responsible for providing a drink that contained a date rape drug at a fraternity party." In fact, the University found a "strong likelihood" that two students were administered 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. The Herald regrets the error.



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