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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sig Ep loses UA recognition

    The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house is surrounded by a fence after the chapter was shut down.
    The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house is surrounded by a fence after the chapter was shut down.

    The new Interfraternity Council formal rush process concluded last week, but without one of the UA’s largest fraternities, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

    “”Sigma Phi Epsilon has had their recognition removed by the university,”” said UA fraternities and sorority programs coordinator Zachary Nicolazzo, via e-mail. “”Sig Ep is appealing the decision, but the appeal will not be until later in the semester.””

    Tyler Carlin, a communication sophomore and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said there were several mitigating factors that eventually resulted in the fraternity going under as of December 2008.

    Carlin said members of Sigma Phi Epsilon were stunned by the news that their charter had been revoked just days before last semester’s finals week.

    “”We were told about four days before finals week that we had lost our recognition,”” he said. “”That news came at the worst time because we were all studying and stressed.””

    Carlin said there was a party at the fraternity house that was not sponsored by the fraternity, but UA administration thought it was sanctioned as an official party of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

    He said this claim is the basis of fraternity’s appeal.

    “”During winter break we were told we couldn’t live in the house,”” Carlin said. “”Thirty-two guys, including myself, all had to find new living accommodations for this spring semester.””

    The fraternity house, 1420 N Vine Ave., was abandoned after the charter was revoked, Carlin said.

    Sigma Phi Epsilon, which has been part of the university since 1954, was not able to participate in this semester’s formalized rush process due to the pending investigation and appeal process, he said.

    “”At this time, they are acting as if their recognition has been removed, which will only change if the original decision is overturned based on the appeal process,”” Nicolazzo said.

    The Dean of Students Office’s Hearing Board is dealing with the appeal process.

    “”This is a case that has gone to appeal,”” said Associate Dean of Students Veda Kowalski. “”Out of respect for the (fraternity) we want to make sure we honor their ability to go through this process unhampered.””

    Once begun, the appeal process could take a matter of days, Kowalski said.

    “”Typically the time period of when the board actually convenes could be as little as a day,”” Kowaski said. “”Then they deliberate and put their decision in writing and forward it to the Vice President of Student Affairs Melissa Vito.””

    The review process will take into account all aspects to the alleged incident, Kowaski said.

    “”It’s a process that gives the organization and/or individual the ability to have an independent review board look at the case and determine one of two things: whether or not a violation occurred and whether or not there is sufficient information … also, whether or not the sanctions as imposed are appropriate ones,”” she said.

    Sigma Phi Epsilon’s President Tyler Babcock has refused to comment until a decision is finalized.

    The national headquarters of Sigma Phi Epsilon, located in Richmond, Va., has a zero tolerance policy for hazing or any type of misconduct in any of their 250 fraternity chapters nationwide, marketing and communications head director Aaron Granger said.

    “”As far as the Arizona Beta chapter of Sig Ep, their unique situation did lead to the university withdrawing their recognition,”” Granger said.

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