Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, February 24, 2018

Three fraternities, one sorority face sanctions from Dean of Students

Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers also face criminal charges

Three fraternities, one sorority face sanctions from Dean of Students

Three fraternities and one sorority at American University have been found responsible for several violations of the student conduct code and received sanctions from the Dean of Students, according to AU’s public document recording the chapter conduct status of recognized sororities and fraternities.

The AU chapters of the sorority Chi Omega and fraternities Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Sigma Kappa all face sanctions for conduct violations, though the severity of the sanctions varies. Chi Omega and Beta Theta Pi were ordered to cease and desist in October, The Eagle previously reported.

A summary of the sanctions are:

  • Chi Omega is suspended and prohibited from recruiting for the spring and fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019
  • Beta Theta Pi is suspended and prohibited from recruiting for the spring and fall of 2018
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon is on disciplinary probation and social probation
  • Phi Sigma Kappa is on disciplinary probation

Dean of Students Rob Hradsky, whose office oversees student conduct investigations, said the University has applied the “same standard of proof to all alleged violations every year,” regardless of intense media coverage of Greek organizations across the country.

“Any resulting sanctions are consistent with prior years,” Hradsky told The Eagle in an email. “We have not and do not intend to change our approach to adjudicating Student Conduct Code violations due to external media reports.”

Chi Omega and Beta Theta Pi

Both Chi Omega and Beta Theta Pi were found responsible for “conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person” and hazing, according to the chapter conduct status document.

Beta Theta Pi was found responsible for the same actions, in addition to alcohol violations.

The findings led the University to suspend both organizations and forbid them from recruiting for the spring and fall of 2018, among other sanctions. Chi Omega will also miss the recruiting season in the spring of 2019. Neither group responded to requests for comment. AU Panhellenic, the governing body of social sororities at AU, also did not respond to a request for comment on Chi Omega.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Due to a widely publicized November house party in Bethesda, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has also been found responsible for alcohol violations, violating local laws and disorderly conduct. The indoor air at the home of six fraternity members tested positive for alcohol when police arrived at the scene, WJLA reported in December.

The six brothers who hosted the party were charged with 126 criminal counts each for allowing underage possession of alcohol and furnishing alcohol to a minor, according to a police report. They face up to $315,000 each in fines.

In addition to the criminal charges, Sigma Alpha Epsilon faces disciplinary probation and social probation, among other sanctions. The chapter was officially chartered in spring 2017 and did not respond to a request for comment.

Phi Sigma Kappa

Fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa also received disciplinary probation for conduct or interfering with the rights of others and willfully failing to comply with the directions of university officials, including Public Safety officers and residence life staff members.

The chapter is still allowed to recruit this semester. Phi Sigma Kappa would not comment on the sanctions on the record.

Justin Zimrak, who was elected president of the AU InterFraternity Council late last semester, said IFC “does not condone” the actions of the three fraternities sanctioned by the University. Zimrak’s predecessor, Matthew Kelly, is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

“Going forward, we will work with these organizations to develop policies that more accurately reflect the standards of IFC,” Zimrak said in an email. “In the coming weeks we will provide programming and education to chapters to help prevent such actions whilst they fulfill their sanctions.”

mcarrasco@theeagleonline.com


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