University issues deferred suspension to Sigma Phi Epsilon

By on January 25, 2016

The university issued a deferred suspension to the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon until Dec. 31, 2016, administration said on Monday.

“During this time, the chapter will be required to fully cooperate in a member review by its national headquarters, develop a new-member program and hold educational programs for members on risk management, hazing and alcohol,” Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell said in the statement.

Quinnipiac’s Student Handbook defines a deferred suspension as, “a suspended removal from Quinnipiac University for a period of time.”  

“Any violation of policy committed during this period causes the suspension to take effect immediately,” the handbook states. “The length of time is determined by the primary conduct officer.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon received a cease and desist order in September after hazing allegations. This meant the fraternity had to halt all activities until an investigation was completed.

The university and the fraternity will not comment on the nature of the hazing allegations at this time.

The university’s most recent decision allows the fraternity to resume their events and activities, but national headquarters will continue an in-depth investigation into the hazing allegations.

“The deferred suspension allows Sigma Phi Epsilon to resume normal activities provided that it fully cooperates in a member review by its national headquarters,” Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan said in an email.

The university issued the deferred suspension in early December, according to Morgan.

The student body felt mixed about the deferred suspension.

Freshman film major Isaiah Nieves said he did not have a problem with the fraternity being allowed to resume activities if there was no real reasoning.

“If the school didn’t find anything on Sig Ep I guess it is fine for them to come back,” he said.

The fraternity Beta Theta Pi also received a cease and desist order last semester for hazing allegations, but a few weeks later they were cleared of the allegations and allowed to proceed with operations and events.

Michaela May is a senior athletic training major and said Sigma Phi Epsilon should not be back on campus so soon.

“I think there should have been more investigation with it overall,” she said. “I do not know all of the ins and outs with it, I just heard about the general situation. I do not think it was fair that they were allowed back so soon without much repercussion.”

The fraternity now has a new president, Robert Cowan, the junior said on his Facebook page. Cowan declined to comment to The Chronicle at this time.

Reporting by Tara O’Neill, Julia Perkins, Sarah Doiron and Hannah Feakes

UPDATE: The article was updated on Dec. 26 to include student reactions and information on when the deferred suspension was issued.

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