Sigma Chi has been put on social probation for the duration of fall quarter as a result of an investigation by the Office of Community Standards (OCS), which found that the fraternity served alcohol to minors.
As a result, Sigma Chi is suspended from hosting social events for the remainder of the quarter. Drinking alcohol in public areas in the house is also banned, and all members of the fraternity will attend Office of Alcohol Policy and Education sessions.
The investigation was initiated last spring due to concerns of hazing during the pledge process last fall, but revealed no evidence of hazing, according to Sigma Chi president Johann Simpson ’16.
“I think the national fraternity has made a lot of changes in terms of saying that Sigma Chi doesn’t promote hazing, so when this was brought forward they looked into it, and they came out with the same [conclusion that we don’t haze],” Simpson said.
Simpson explained Sigma Chis generally feel that they have been treated fairly by the University and are willing to work with the administration going forward.
“I would say the general consensus is that it’s not necessarily mistreatment, but there are definitely people who feel [mistreated], as well, just because they feel like we’re being singled out,” said Bradley Hammoor ’16, vice president of Sigma Chi and president of the Inter-Fraternity Council.
On the whole, though, the house is focusing on the potential positive impacts of the decision, Hammoor added.
While visiting the fraternity over the course of the investigation, University officials said that they realize there are fears about anti-Greek-life sentiment on campus, according to Simpson. They assured the brothers, however, that administrators support them and appreciate what they add to the campus community.
“I don’t think people have the sense that this is an overarching ‘get rid of fraternities’ thing – it’s just an unfortunate circumstance,” Hammoor said.
According to Simpson, Sigma Chi is unsure whether it will appeal the decision. The fraternity is currently working with the University to express their thoughts about the decision and make small changes to clarify its wording.
Associate dean and director of OCS Susan Fleischmann declined to comment, stating that she is not able to discuss particular cases or their outcomes.
Hammoor said the fraternity is trying to find the silver lining in the decision and is using the money they would have spent on social events on philanthropy.