Sigma Alpha Epsilon suspends University of Texas chapter after hazing complaints

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at the University of Texas at Austin has been suspended due to “health-and-safety concerns” according to the national chapter of the organization. The national organization says they received tips reporting about hazing and they say that does not live up to their values

The charter for Texas Rho also failed to adhere to the national organization’s standards and expectations. The national chapter says the suspension will last until the current membership has graduated or for at least four years, depending on which comes first.

“Sigma Alpha Epsilon has zero tolerance for any actions or behaviors that are not consistent with our mission and our creed, “The True Gentleman.” We are committed to the safety and well-being of our members and others with whom they interact. Furthermore, we will not hesitate to impose sanctions when guidelines are not being followed,” said the organization in a press release.

Green letters being removed from Sigma Alpha Epsilon house on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

The University of Texas has also launched an investigation into the hazing allegations.

Student after student piled into the fraternity house at the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets for a large meeting mid-day Tuesday. Less than an hour later, they piled out. Their comments to KXAN were a mix of polite “no comment at this time” or curse words.

Raquel Weisfeld lives across the street. She and other students tell KXAN they heard the fraternity took action after a video of hazing surfaced — which KXAN has not seen. She describes hazing on campus as an open secret.

“I know we have those issues on this campus but I really wasn’t surprised because there are a lot of colleges that the Greek life is getting in trouble and is getting shut down. So it’s not surprising to me,” said Weisfeld.

Sara Kennedy from the University of Texas wrote, “The Office of the Dean of Students was notified of alleged hazing involving the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at UT Austin, on Monday, November 6, and informed the organization that an investigation is now under way.”

This could be just the beginning of the troubles for SAE. When the university gets involved, that could lead to disciplinary action against individual students.

In 2015, two SAE members were charged with assault after a neighbor confronted them about loud music that had been playing at the house for several hours. The arrest came during Roundup, the annual, weekend-long recruiting event for Greek organizations at the University of Texas.

The fraternity believes they can still re-establish the UT chapter after the suspension.

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