Updated with a statement from the university at 8 a.m., Wednesday:
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon, also referred to as SAE, national headquarters has closed its chapter at the University of Mississippi due to health-and-safety concerns and members not upholding the fraternity’s national standards for behavior.
All current members of the chapter have been suspended from the fraternity indefinitely and members recruited this fall have been released, according to the statement. The statement also said SAE hopes to one day re-establish a chapter at the university. The chapter had been on campus since 1866.
The university released a statement to The Daily Mississippian Wednesday morning saying the closing of the chapter came after reports of hazing allegations and an investigation by the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.
Here is the full statement from the university:
“Following an investigation of reported hazing allegations, the University of Mississippi’s Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct uncovered serious and concerning conduct within the Mississippi Gamma Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Those findings and concerns were shared with representatives from the national organization. Late last week, the national board decided to suspend the charter, close the chapter and disband the undergraduate group for several years.
The actions that led to this decision are deeply disappointing and troubling. Hazing will not be tolerated and we support the actions of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity to close the chapter.”
Here is the full statement SAE headquarters released:
“Sigma Alpha Epsilon regrets to inform the Realm about the closure of one of our chapters. The charter for the Mississippi Gamma at the University of Mississippi has been suspended, the chapter closed and the undergraduate group disbanded. This action is the result of health-and-safety concerns and an inability to adhere to the national organization’s standards and expectations.
Fraternity leadership received information of continued activity following the initiation of a cease-and-desist operations order. The investigation that followed provided important and concerning details, and the Supreme Council took swift action to intervene.
All current initiated undergraduate members have been suspended from the fraternity indefinitely, and members who have been recruited this fall have been released from the organization.
The loss of this long-standing chapter is unfortunate, but it serves as a crucial reminder to our collegiate members, chapter officers and alumni that violations to Minerva’s Shield and failure to follow our membership-education program known as the True Gentleman Experience will not be tolerated and may result in closure. Those types of violations jeopardize other chapters and colonies and devalue the positive membership opportunity we should enjoy as a brotherhood.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon has zero tolerance for any actions or behaviors that are not consistent with or mission or our creed, “The True Gentleman.” We are committed to the safety and well-being of our members and others with whom they interact. Furthermore, our leadership will not hesitate to impose sanctions when guidelines are not being followed.
Although we regret the closure of any chapter, there are situations in which it becomes necessary and warranted. We remain optimistic that we can re-establish Mississippi Gamma in the future and members who exemplify our Ritual and beliefs and who serve as leading role models on campus and the greater Oxford community.”
The Daily Mississippian will continue to report on this.
– Lana Ferguson