Fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon suspended for a year

NEWS

The spring Rush Week will be one fraternity short this year. An October hazing incident involving Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) prompted FAU and the fraternity’s headquarters in Richmond, Va., to suspend SigEp from any on-campus activities for a year.

The incident sent Nicholas Letteri, a SigEp brother, to the Boca Raton Community Hospital emergency room after his fraternity practiced a hazing ritual where he was kidnapped and forced to drink large amounts of alcohol.

The year-long suspension was made after a disciplinary conference held on Jan. 11 and is effective immediately.

During the conference, a mutual agreement was signed by both FAU Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena and Marcus Nielsen, student representative for the SigEp Xi chapter on campus.

The agreement includes a suspension, membership review plan, disciplinary probation, a chapter reorganization plan, monthly meetings and reports. (Click here to see the full SigEp Mutual Agreement.)

The chapter’s suspension is defined as a “loss of university recognition,” where the fraternity cannot participate in Greek Councils and school activities. The membership review plan includes the creation of an Alumni Advisory Council to conduct full membership reviews for the FAU chapter.

Once SigEp is off the year-long suspension, the fraternity will be placed on disciplinary probation for two years, where the fraternity will have its university recognition restored.

During the probation the council will conduct a full reorganization plan, and the chapter will abide by recommendations, requirements and benchmarks created by the council.

Once the reorganization plan is in place, the chapter must meet with the Dean of Students’ office on a monthly basis to review their progress.

In any case, if the fraternity is responsible for not complying with the recommendations from the council, or is in violation of another Student Code of Conduct, FAU may increase the severity of the consequences.

“We’re the strongest fraternity on campus. We have the highest grades; always number one in intramurals; always number one in sports; we always have the highest community service. This is not what we expected, and it’s not going to help out anybody,” said Jonathon Marquez, SigEp president, when referring to the suspension of the fraternity.

Channel 5 first reported that Marc Press, attorney for seven SigEp members, called the rulings unfair.

“It is the beginning of the end of the fraternity, and a one-year suspension will effectively kill the fraternity. It’s a death notice.”