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UW-Madison terminates Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter

October 4, 2016

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter at UW–Madison has been terminated as a student organization for violations of Student Organization Code of Conduct policies.

The fraternity had previously been placed on suspension in December 2015 for earlier violations of policy, including those governing health and safety and illegal consumption of alcohol. While an organization is suspended, it must operate according to terms set by the Committee on Student Organizations that are intended to strengthen the organization and prepare it for resuming normal activities when the suspension concludes.

In July, the committee received a report alleging that the fraternity had violated the terms of its suspension. Madison police reported that an officer had responded to a large party at the chapter house on July 23 and found underage students consuming alcohol.

Following an investigation by the Division of Student Life, the committee found that the chapter had intentionally violated the terms of its suspension by hosting an event that was not permitted under the terms. The committee voted to terminate the fraternity and stipulated that the organization may not attempt to re-register as a student organization for five years.

Termination means that a student organization loses all rights and privileges that are associated with being a registered student organization, including the ability to hold events on campus.

The chapter can appeal the committee’s decision.

“The pattern of violations by the Sigma Phi Epsilon organization is not aligned with the values of the Interfraternity Council,” says Bennett Wallander, the council president. “Accountability between the men, fraternities and councils of UW–Madison is a necessary instrument to pursue our mission of developing and maintaining fraternity life and interfraternal relations at a high level of accomplishment. Organizations must use their time under sanctions as an opportunity to learn and improve.”

Federal laws governing student privacy prevent UW–Madison from discussing any disciplinary action that may be taken against individual students.