USM fraternity disciplined after investigation

USM fraternity disciplined after investigation
The SAE fraternity is under investigation by the Title IX board for a sexual assault that occurred in October. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been placed on disciplinary probation and is barred from hosting any social event, on or off campus.

This is following an investigation by the Dean of Students Office for possible violations to the university's alcohol and drug policy.

"The Dean of Students Office has completed its review of issues under the Code of Student Conduct, which resulted in disciplinary action against individual students and the fraternity as a whole. Additional student disciplinary action is possible pending further University and national fraternity office processes. Privacy laws prevent us from sharing specific information regarding individual students," said USM Chief Communications Officer Jim Coll.

The investigation into SAE was prompted after a party held at the fraternity house over USM's Homecoming Weekend in October of 2016.

Based on the campus police department's case log, a complaint was filed on November 18, 2016.  The incident recorded is alcohol possession by a minor in the overnight hours of October 29th into October 30, 2016.

Members of the fraternity are still allowed to live and work in the house.  Here are more of the guidelines from USM's Dean of Students Office:

  • The fraternity house remains open to members but the fraternity is currently precluded from hosting social events, on or off campus
  • The SAE fraternity has been placed on disciplinary probation through the Spring 2018 semester. The Dean of Students Office, Office of Greek Life, Graduate Advisory Board and the Fraternity/Sorority Committee will guide and monitor its success and compliance.
  • The fraternity must follow the directed leadership and membership redevelopment plan as developed by the fraternity’s leadership, SAE National Office, Graduate Advisory Board, Office of Greek Life, Fraternity/Sorority Committee, and Dean of Students Office.
"We expect that a representative from the SAE National Office will be here the first week of Spring Semester classes, which begin Tuesday, to conduct a review of the local chapter and its membership. The Office of Greek Life will be notified of the review's results, including names of any members removed from the fraternity by the SAE Graduate Advisory Board and/or National Office," said Coll.

WDAM 7 reached out to the national media representative at Sigma Alpha Epsilon's headquarters.

The headquarters issued this statement:

"The Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters has performed an investigation at our chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi following an incident last fall that deviated from our health & safety program, and we have implemented a redevelopment plan with our members as we work with university officials.  

Sigma Alpha Epsilon maintains stringent guidelines and expectations for our members, and those who do not comply with them are sanctioned accordingly. Furthermore, we have a zero-tolerance policy for any actions or behaviors that deviate from our policies, mission and creed — because that type of conduct is unacceptable. Our goal is to provide a meaningful and beneficial experience for all of our members and the communities in which they live.

In addition, we are committed to the safety and well-being of our members and the guests with whom they interact, and that commitment includes making sure our members provide a safe, enjoyable environment in their homes.

Every brother is required to complete training programs on various important topics, including sexual assault, hazing, alcohol and substance abuse, and diversity and inclusion. Our national and regional leadership and educational events also provide training in these areas. In addition, SAE has proudly supported education and training that combats sexual assault and holds our members accountable."

According to the University of Southern Mississippi's Greek Life website, the SAE house is at full occupancy with 34 members.

Details surrounding exactly what happened at that homecoming party have never been made clear.  WDAM 7 has filed a freedom of information act request to get a copy of the full police report from the university.

This is a developing story and we will update you with more details on the investigation when that report comes in.