The University of Mississippi Judicial Council suspended the Ole Miss Sigma Chi Fraternity through the conclusion of next semester, effective immediately. In addition, the fraternity’s philanthropic event Derby Days was canceled.
The University of Mississippi Judicial Council ruled Thursday evening that the Ole Miss Sigma Chi Fraternity has been suspended through the conclusion of next semester, effective immediately. The fraternity violated the university’s alcohol policy, according to the Judicial Council’s press release last week.
Additionally, the fraternity’s philanthropic event, Derby Days, which was scheduled for this past weekend, was canceled. However, the fraternity was able to continue giving blood to the event’s charity, Mississippi Blood Services, according to a fraternity spokesman.
Sigma Chi spokesmen declined comment Sunday, and attempts to reach the chapter’s adviser were unsuccessful.
The Judicial Council found the Eta Chapter guilty of illegal possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, disregard for university authority and failure to follow the guidelines for registering activities with the university as described in the Student Organization Handbook, according to a press release issued by Sigma Chi April 5.
“We’re disappointed with the outcome and we do plan to appeal and hope that a better outcome can come out of that process,” said Eta Chapter President Buckner Corso in the fraternity’s press release.
According to the Judicial Council’s release, the incident happened while Sigma Chi was already on two-strike probation for a strike it received in the fall of 2012 for violating the university alcohol policy. The fraternity was placed on interim suspension on March 5.
The suspension officially begins May 13, 2013, and ends Jan. 1, 2014, and it includes no formal recruitment, no social activities, no housing, no meals and no formal meetings for its duration, according to the fraternity’s release. The current residents of the fraternity house may continue to live there and receive meals for the remainder of the semester, according to the Judicial Council’s release.
“The Eta Chapter, as a whole, is disappointed with the decision made by the University,” Sigma Chi’s release states. “These gentlemen will be without housing and a meal option for the next seven (7) months. Although these young men will not have a place on campus to call home or practice the rituals of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, their bond of brotherhood will endeavor.”
According to the fraternity’s release, the university’s decision does not revoke the Eta Chapter’s charter. Upon the conclusion of the suspension on Jan. 1 of next year, the Eta Chapter will be placed under social probation. It will be allowed to host and participate in philanthropic events, have meals, room and board and participate in recruitment.
The Eta Chapter currently employs six full-time employees in its house, and it is currently unclear whether those employees will keep their jobs.
“All efforts will be made by the Eta Chapter to insure these individuals are properly compensated for their dismissal caused by the decision of the University,” the fraternity’s release reads.
The Judicial Council voted unanimously in favor of the sanctions. Three students, one faculty member and one staff member compose the council. The decision can be appealed to the Appellate Consideration Board. The student judicial chair is elected by the student body.