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Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity faces hazing allegations

Cecilia Alvarez
Cecilia Lisset Alvarez / The Daily Wildcat Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been suspended due to hazing incidence. Photo taken on Oct. 14, 2014.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is currently preparing a response to allegations that the organization violated hazing and alcohol policies despite already having alcohol restrictions.

Until the investigation is complete and any sanctions are determined, SAE is under interim suspension of all activities with alcohol, according to the judicial page of the UA Fraternity and Sorority Programs website. No members of SAE responded to the Daily Wildcat’s request for comment.

Johanne Ives, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority programs, said that an organization will have an interim suspension if it is believed that there may still be some risk with the organization while an investigation is ongoing.

Ives said that the Dean of Students Office has completed its investigation of SAE, but is waiting for the fraternity’s response to the charges against the organization.

Ives also said that she could not go into specifics of the situation, because the Dean of Students Office is still waiting for the response, but said that it is facing allegations of hosting an unregistered event with alcohol, providing alcohol to minors and hazing.Earlier this year, SAE’s national headquarters ended its pledging process nationwide in an effort to stop hazing problems.

SAE was already subject to a sanction that only allowed the organization to have one registered event with alcohol this fall semester. According to Ives, the effectiveness of sanctions varies from organization to organization.

“I think for some [fraternities and sororities] that really don’t know any better in educating their members, it’s effective,” Ives said. “I think for others, it’s not because it’s just, ‘We know the rules. We’re just trying to get away … with breaking them.’ … It’s not that the people just weren’t clear on what the policy was.”

Last year, “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville alleged that someone slipped ecstasy in his drink when he screened his movie “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” at SAE. The UA could not find evidence to support the claim.

Ives said that SAE is one of the organizations that is just trying to get away with its actions.

“I would say because they know they already have a mandate from their national organization to be dry [that it is] pretty black-and-white,” Ives said. “It’s hard I would say for [SAE] to make an argument that they weren’t clear on what the policy was.”

Kendal Washington White, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs, said the first option for any allegation is always an attempt at educating the organization because the UA is an institution of learning. However, Ives said if an organization is constantly violating conduct, education may no longer be an option.

“Sometimes, if an organization has a judicial history that is pretty lengthy, the institution may feel like we’ve run out of options in terms of educational sanctions or punitive sanctions,” Ives said.

SAE has been listed for policy violations on judicial reports 12 separate times since fall 2006, not including the current allegations, according to the Fraternity and Sorority programs judicial page.

Ives said SAE is an organization that has had a lengthy history, but attributes some of that history to how long it has been at the UA.

She said the Dean of Students Office works in conjunction with organizations that are found guilty of misconduct to determine sanctions because “internally, they know best what’s going to be successful and what’s not.”

Any sanctions for SAE would not be determined until after its response, Ives said.

Ives said she doesn’t think SAE is on the path toward removing recognition based on what they found in the current investigation. She said she hopes SAE will submit its part of the investigation within the next week.

While White said she does not think that there is an increasing trend of incidents, such as hazing within Greek Life, she suggested that one way to reduce hazing in these organizations is with an increased positive involvement from parents and adults who were a part of greek organizations, regardless of how the organization was run in the past.

“Just because you were hazed doesn’t mean that everybody has to go through that,” White said.

White said that she would advise pledges to speak up and not allow themselves to be hazed and for the perpetrators to reconsider their actions.

“To the person who’s hazing: How does hazing create brotherhood or sisterhood with these new people who are trying to join your organization?” White said. “It just builds resentment.”


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