Alleged Hazing Under Investigation
Sigma Chi is placed on interim suspension
Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore placed the BU chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity on interim suspension Friday afternoon after learning that members may have taken part in hazing. Elmore, who met with the fraternity’s leadership before taking action, says the incident may have involved “extended isolation” and forced consumption of alcoholic beverages. He says allegations of hazing are being investigated by his office and by BU police.
“Sigma Chi is on interim suspension pending the outcome of that investigation,” says Elmore (SED’87). “If we determine that hazing has occurred, we will consider additional actions.”
Elmore says he also spoke with the leadership of the international organization, which is cooperating with the investigation. Sigma Chi is one of 13 fraternities recognized by the University.
Michael Dunn, executive director of Sigma Chi international, says fraternity leadership customarily works in concert with university administrations, and is doing so in this case.
“If there is a situation where there appears to be illegal activity, we work with the university to find out what happened,” says Dunn. “The interim suspension in this case is nothing more than a way of saying, ‘Hey, let’s take a break and get our arms around this.’”
Dunne says the local chapter has been advised not to speak to the press about the investigation.
The suspension of the BU chapter means that “the organization effectively does not exist,” says Elmore. “It deprives the fraternity of University rooms and space for meetings and events. It also prohibits it from using the University’s name.”
Hazing is a misdemeanor in Massachusetts and is punishable by a fine of up to $3,000 and one year in jail. Elmore notes that the University’s anonymous tip site for reporting conduct infractions has a specific link for reporting hazing allegations.
This is the third incident in the past eight months involving allegations of hazing. Last April, the BU chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a fraternity that is not recognized by the University, was suspended by the national fraternity after 14 BU students were charged with hazing, assault and battery, and failure to report hazing. Charges in that case were later reduced or dropped. The same fraternity was involved in a separate alleged hazing incident with Sigma Delta Tau sorority. In May, the sorority was suspended until the end of 2012.
In the wake of those incidents, Elmore met with leaders of recognized Greek groups on campus and discussed issues of denigration and personal worth and integrity.7 Comments