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Sigma Chi Fraternity Suspended

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The UA Sigma Chi fraternity chapter has been reported for allegedly hazing its new members for the second time since 2013, according to university reports.

Dan Mathewson, the director of accountability and chapter accounts for Sigma Chi headquarters, sent two letters to the UA Omega Omega chapter of Sigma Chi on Jan. 30.

One letter requested that UA Sigma Chi members respond within seven days to the allegation that the Omega Omega chapter has been hazing its new members and has “provided false, misleading and/or dishonest information to the Amnesty Program,” according to the letter.

“From what I have gathered, there may have been a few minor isolated hazing allegations,” said Parice Bowser, the director of Greek Life, in an email to Rachel Eikenberry, the director of the Office of Student Standards and Conduct; Melissa Harwood-Rom, dean of students and Lori Lander, associate dean of students, Feb. 11.

The other letter temporarily suspended the Omega Omega chapter from participating in various activities until the national investigation is complete.

“These functions are to include, but are not necessarily limited to: social events, intramurals, pledge education, initiation, etc.,” according to the second letter.

This means that Sigma Chi was unable to participate in Spring Recruitment, according to the second letter.

Sigma Chi national officials also alerted UA officials Jan. 30 of the investigation, said Scott Flanagin, executive director of communications for Student Affairs.

The interim suspension will last until the investigation is complete and the national organization will make recommendations for consequences, if it finds it necessary, Flanagin said.

“The findings from the national investigation will be supplied to our Greek Life office once the investigation has been completed,” Flanagin said.

The national branch will issue a report on the UA chapter in March, Eikenberry said.

UA officials “will affirm the decision of the national organization, but they can’t speculate on what the outcome will be,” Eikenberry said.

After the initial investigation is complete, the OSSC and UA Greek Life may conduct another investigation of the chapter, taking the results from the Sigma Chi investigation into account, Flanagin said.

Parice Bowser, the director of Greek Life, refused to comment on the suspension or investigation, and she redirected all requests for information to Flanagin. Traveler reporters sent her three emails, called her office once and visited her office once.

UA officials will complete an additional investigation only if they think that Sigma Chi’s report was insufficient, Eikenberry said.

In the last two years, three Greek organizations have been found guilty of breaking hazing laws. Sigma Phi Epsilon was found guilty in 2013. Sigma Chi was found guilty in 2013, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon was found guilty in 2014, according to a university report.

The Omega Omega chapter of Sigma Chi was founded at the UofA on Sept. 16, 1905. There have been over 3,500 men initiated into the chapter. Sigma Chi has an average yearly chapter size of 185 men, according to the Sigma Chi website.

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