Sigma Phi Epsilon at Dartmouth College has officially closed after the fraternity’s long battle with both the college and its own board of trustees over issues of local control and alcohol.
According to reports, the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization suspended the chapter’s charter due to alcohol violations that took place while the chapter already was on alcohol probation.
Diana Lawrence, a spokesperson for Dartmouth College, released the following statement:
“Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity’s national board of directors has suspended the Dartmouth College SigEp chapter’s charter for two years, closing the fraternity effective immediately.”
Furthermore, Lawrence said that the fraternity’s house that is located at 11 Webster Ave. will be leased out and previous members will be assigned college housing.
via Valley News:
The fraternity’s house, at 11 Webster Ave., will be leased out, and members will be assigned college housing, according to Lawrence. Over the summer, members said there were 22 members living in 26 beds after a May culling that ousted 80 other members for alleged alcohol violations.
In July, Sigma Phi Epsilon alumni took the group’s board of trustees to court for what it called a “power grab” that took voting rights away from an estimated 1,500 potential and existing alumni members.
The chapter, which was founded in 1909, last disaffiliated in 1967, and rejoined the national organization in 1981.
“With support from the college and the SigEp national office, we are hopeful that the chapter will be back on campus in winter term 2021,” Lawrence said.
The closure of Sigma Phi at Dartmouth College is the latest major fraternity or sorority lawsuit, investigation, suspension or closure in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State University, and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.
These reports come amidst similar allegations that have been made against fraternities nationwide, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon at East Carolina University, who was shut down for hazing and the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Arkansas which has been accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of women without their permission.
In response to incidents like these, fraternities such Phi Kappa Psi have made numerous changes to their code of conduct in an effort to address the issues that have arisen. In addition, schools such as Texas State, West Virginia University, and Penn State University have introduced new Greek Life rules to try and prevent these problems.