Sigma Alpha Epsilon handed four year suspension from university

Sigma Alpha Epsilon handed four year suspension from university

UMBC’s Student Judicial Program has officially suspended the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from campus for a minimum of four years. The suspension comes after the chapter allegedly committed a number of various campus conduct violations in recent months. The chapter has the opportunity to formally appeal the decision this week.

SJP has investigated and ruled on a series of alleged violations of the Code of Student Organization Conduct by SAE members. The information came in the form of a letter sent by SJP to UMBC’s SAE chapter on March 17. The alleged violations include instances of alcohol access to minors at chapter events, property theft and damage and failure to comply with previous sanctions.   

In the document, SJP alleged that alcohol was provided to minors during an SAE event on Feb. 6. On Feb. 13, alcohol was again made accessible to underage individuals at a second chapter event, this one unregistered. In the case of both incidents, the SAE National Office either informed SJP of the incident or confirmed it after its own investigation.

These incidents would constitute breaches of Rule 3 of the CSOC which concerns the misuse of alcohol. Additionally, the failure to register the Feb. 13 event would violate a previous sanction placed on the chapter requiring it to notify UMBC’s Coordinator of Fraternities and Sororities “of any event sponsored by the chapter at least 72 hours in advance.” SAE would therefore be in violation of the CSOC’s Rule 15, “Abuse of the Judicial System.”   

In addition, members of the chapter have been alleged of illicitly taking wooden letters belonging to various sororities from UMBC’s Greek Life Room. This would constitute a breach of CSOC Rule 5, related to theft or property damage.

SJP formally brought these allegations before UMBC SAE representatives in a pre-hearing conference on March 24. On March 31, SJP determined that the allegations were substantiated and decided to move forward with the fraternity’s suspension from campus barring an appeal.  

In a statement released in response to the developing situation, SAE’s National Office stated that it is working to determine appropriate next steps for the UMBC chapter. The statement hinted at the possibility of internal sanctions for the chapter.

“We will not tolerate behavior or actions that deviate from our values and mission or those that jeopardize the well-being of our members,” the National Office’s statement read in part. “Sigma Alpha Epsilon maintains stringent guidelines and expectations through our health & safety program, and our leaders do not hesitate to take immediate action when guidelines are not followed properly.”

Jim Lotfi, an alumni advisor for the UMBC chapter, was reached for comment. Lotfi said that he could not give any public statement regarding the case at this time.

SAE’s UMBC chapter has found its actions scrutinized in the past. On March 28 last year, a party held at a house rented by then-active SAE members resulted in 55 police citations for underage drinking. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Office issued sanctions to the UMBC chapter in response, including a requirement for the chapter to hold alcohol safety education programs on campus.  

At this time, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has not filed a formal appeal.