University of Oregon’s Beta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is suspended until fall 2023, following a university investigation that found the fraternity responsible for having prohibited alcohol and failing to comply, among other violations.
UO issued the suspension on May 1, according to UO spokesperson Saul Hubbard, who confirmed the violations.
“We received notice last week that the chapter was found responsible for violating university policy,” Heather Kirk, a spokesperson for SigEp’s national organization, told the Emerald via email. “The chapter plans to appeal the resulting suspension and hopes to arrive at an outcome enabling SigEp to implement a plan with the university and alumni to provide positive values to the Oregon community through education, accountability and health and safety measures.”
The chapter was placed on temporary suspension on Jan. 14, following allegations of a possible student conduct code violation. University of Oregon correspondence obtained through a public records request confirmed that the investigation began following allegations of serving alcohol to underage students at a Jan. 11 party.
Documents show that Katy Larkin, director of student conduct and community standards, said that “this event placed attendees at significant risk of health and safety concerns.”
Documents show that Chapter Services Director Ben Weinberg reached out to Oregon Executive Officers of SigEp Beta with details of how SigEp national employees were made aware of “potential alcohol and risk management violations made by the chapter.” These potential violations, the email said, resulted in UO’s emergency decision to put the chapter “under a cease of operations.”
Following the cease of operations, the chapter was asked to “cease any and all chapter activities for an indefinite period of time,” including recruitment, chapter meetings and chapter elections, according to the Jan. 14 email.
According to the student conduct code, SigEp may appeal the decision within 14 days of the University’s decision. With a group suspension, the fraternity “loses University recognition and all privileges associated with such recognition” until fall 2023, according to the Student Conduct Code.
That means the fraternity cannot host events, reserve rooms on campus, receive additional support from university staff or access other university services and resources. Because the chapter’s house is privately owned, residence is not associated with the revoked university privileges, according to a UO spokesperson.
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This story was updated shortly after publishing to include that the fraternity cannot host events during the suspension.