SAE closed for at least nine months; Groups may petition to return to active status after meeting conditions
In June the university notified Greek alumni of disciplinary action taken against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Delta Theta fraternities.
Following an incident on April 7-8, 2000, the SAE chapter was found responsible for significant violations of the Fraternity and Sorority Recognition Policy and the Student Integrity Code. The case involved substantial damage to a rental property off campus, improper pledge education and alcohol violations. Twenty-three members of the chapter participated in the event, including chapter officers.
A hearing panel made up of a student selected by the Interfraternity Council, a faculty member and a staff member placed the chapter on indefinite suspension, meaning that chapter business, meetings and functions were halted and that chapter insignia was placed in storage.
The SAE Union Avenue house is being used as unaffiliated housing in 2000-2001. After March 15, 2001, the chapter may petition to have the suspension lifted.
"The sanction was determined in light of the seriousness of the incident and the fact that Sigma Alpha Epsilon was already on probation for alcohol policy, hazing and fire safety violations," said Dean of Students Kristine Bartanen in a letter mailed to Puget Sound Greek alumni. The chapter had violated this probation in the spring of 1999 and again in the fall of 1999.
The Phi Delta Theta chapter also was suspended, following incidents on April 21 and April 28-30, 2000, that involved fire safety and alcohol violations, inappropriate ritual events and violation of the chapter’s social probation. Earlier in April 2000, the Phi Delta Theta chapter had been placed on social probation for violating the university alcohol policy.
The chapter admitted responsibility, and a hearing panel placed the chapter on external suspension through the fall semester. All chapter business, meetings and functions will be halted (except for meetings to work on a plan of remedy), and the chapter insignia was placed in storage. The chapter may petition to return to active status after November 15, 2000.
"It is not the intention of the university to permanently disband either the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter or the Phi Delta Theta chapter, or to cause the Greek community on campus to lose ground," assured Bartanen in the letter. "We would like to see the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Delta Theta members use the coming months productively so that their chapters will be able to be restored to active status. We welcome the support of alumni who can assist our current students in achieving these goals.
"At the same time," Bartanen continued, "the university cannot allow behavior on the part of any group that threatens the health and safety of our students and of others, that breaks the law or that violates standards of civility."
The letter went on to present a lengthy list of achievements and service made by fraternity and sorority members over the course of the previous academic year.