SAE chapter suspended indefinitely

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Savannah Douglas | The Daily Wildcat

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on Monday. Due to a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the fraternity has been suspended until further notice and is under investigation.

The UA chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been placed under a “cease-and-desist order” by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters, meaning all activities are suspended until further notice.

“Staff members issued the order while they perform an investigation into allegations that were brought to our attention by university administrators,” said Brandon Weghorst, associate executive director of communications for Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, in an email. “Although SAE’s leadership eliminated pledging and pledge programs in March of 2014, we take every incident and allegation seriously and work immediately to gather more information.”

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the 10 Interfraternity Council chapters under sanctions, according to the chapter conduct and judicial webpage for UA Fraternity and Sorority Programs. Sigma Alpha Epsilon is currently under investigation for violations of the Student Code of Conduct in relation to hazing and endangering or harm. The UA has suspended the fraternity from all contact with the spring 2015 new member class.

Weghorst said the brothers may still wear the Sigma Alpha Epsilon letters while under the cease-and-desist. He also said Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a zero-tolerance policy for any actions or behaviors that do not comply with the guidelines and expectations of the fraternity.

“The fraternity’s leadership will not hesitate to take corrective actions or to impose sanctions, as necessary,” Weghorst said. “We maintain a comprehensive health and safety program and are committed to ensuring the wellbeing of our members. And we continue to work with the chapter’s alumni advisory board to make sure the group meets or exceeds our standards for operations.”

Both the president of the UA chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the president of the UA Interfraternity Council were contacted but gave no response to questions regarding the fraternity’s current standing and suspension.

Cameron Moncada, a computer engineering freshman, said he knows many members and new members in Sigma Alpha Epsilon and respects the fraternity. Moncada said that because Greek Life at the UA is in a fragile state right now, he expected “top houses” such as Sigma Alpha Epsilon to monitor their actions carefully.

“Having a respectable reputation on campus and a good relationship with the university is extremely important,” Moncada said. “With that being said, I hope SAE doesn’t ruin any positive connections.”

Matthew Poulton, a sustainable built environments senior in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, said Greek Life is a huge presence at the UA and should be more responsible and professional.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that SAE can’t get their act together,” Poulton said. “I understand that sometimes you have to be initiated into organizations, but SAE should know better. I also think that this, combined with other recent SAE events, has left the fraternity tarnished.”

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