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The Daily Wildcat


SAE smacked with suspension after alleged assault against AEPi

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

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is under interim suspension of recognition from the UA and has suspended four members for an alleged assault of Alpha Epsilon Pi members on Friday.

SAE is under interim suspension of recognition for violations of the Student Code of Conduct related to endangering, threats, causing harm and discriminatory activities, according to the Fraternity and Sorority Programs judicial website.

Sgt. Chris Widmer, a public information officer for the Tucson Police Department, said that “20 or so” members of SAE assaulted four members of AEPi living in an apartment at the Hub At Tucson.

Widmer said a member of SAE had gone back to his house with a black eye, which the member told his friends he had received when some members of AEPi attacked him, prompting SAE’s retaliation.

Widmer said the SAE members went up to the door of the apartment where they believed the members lived. They knocked on the door and began yelling “anti-Jewish” slurs.

AEPi is a fraternity that serves Jewish students on campus.

When they received no response, the members kicked in the door, Widmer said. The SAE members then went inside and found four males whom they began assaulting, but after one of them realized it was the wrong apartment, they left, but not before one of the SAE members took $20 out of one of the victim’s wallets, Widmer said.

In response to these allegations, the UA has placed SAE under an interim suspension of recognition and has launched its own investigation into the allegations, according to a UANews press release from Kendal Washington White, assistant vice president and dean of students.

According to the press release, SAE “must cease all activity” on UA’s campus until the investigation is complete. It also stated that an interim suspension of recognition is handed down when that organization could still present a risk to the UA community. In the letter to SAE from Christina Lieberman, associate dean of students, telling them about the investigation and SAE’s interim suspension, she described the ramifications of an interim suspension of recognition.

“Interim Suspension of Recognition prohibits hosting, attending, participating and sponsoring any organizational activities,” Lieberman stated in the letter.

Lieberman also said SAE members are prohibited from having any contact with AEPi members, including phone calls, voice mail, text messages, letters, emails, social media, being in the presence of AEPi members, or touching AEPi’s property or the property of its members. Lieberman said failure to comply or retaliation of any kind would result in additional Student Code of Conduct investigations.

Lieberman said in the letter that SAE should have scheduled a meeting by Tuesday at 5 p.m.

SAE was already under interim suspension of all activities as it was being investigated for violations of the Student Code of Conduct related to allegations of hosting an unregistered event with alcohol, providing alcohol to minors and hazing levied at SAE in September.

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.

SAE’s national headquarters said in an email statement that the UA’s SAE chapter leadership has suspended four of their members for “conduct that is inconsistent with our values and expectations for members.”

SAE’s national headquarters has also launched an investigation into the incident and might impose sanctions on the UA chapter as well.

“We teach our members to serve as role models in their communities and to live up to our creed, ‘The True Gentleman,’” the statement read. “If members fail to do so, we will not hesitate to take corrective actions or to impose sanctions, as necessary.”

Brandon Weghorst, associate executive director of communications for SAE’s national headquarters, said in an email that he could not provide further comment beyond the statement, but that “as part of our investigation, Sigma Alpha Epsilon will seek to determine the number of members who may have been involved in the incident.”

The UA Hillel Foundation, a center for Jewish life on campus, released a statement from Michelle Blumenberg, UA Hillel Foundation executive director, and Stephen Caine, UA Hillel Foundation board chair, addressing the incident.

“This is a sad occurrence and one that is very uncommon at the University of Arizona,” the statement read. “UA Hillel is here to foster a safe environment for Jewish students and to create a positive campus climate for all students in partnership with the university. Please be in touch if there is any way that we at Hillel might be of assistance to our students and the community.”

Widmer said the downtown neighborhoods crime department of TPD is still investigating the incident and that no arrests have been made.


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