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Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter suspended by nationals, IFC

Hannah Chin/Daily
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BY CLAIRE HALL
Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 9, 2011

The University chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been suspended by the University’s Interfraternity Council and the fraternity's national organization due to alleged hazing.

With the suspension, which was discussed at an IFC meeting last night, SAE may not participate in any activities organized by the IFC, nor may the chapter attend IFC meetings, according to LSA sophomore Sean Jackson, IFC vice president for public relations. IFC also voted yesterday to defer a review of the chapter until after the fraternity’s national organization has completed its own review process.

In an e-mail sent last week to executive board members of the IFC and Panhellenic Association, Chris Haughee, assistant director of Greek Life at the University, wrote that the national SAE fraternity issued a Cease and Desist Order after the University received reports of hazing by the chapter. The order forbids the chapter from conducting social and sporting events, pledge activities and other meetings, according to the e-mail.

The national organization has also suspended all chapter members pending membership reviews, which will take place in the coming weeks, the e-mail stated.

The national SAE headquarters released a statement on its website Tuesday outlining the terms of the suspension, which will continue until after the reviews are discussed. The fraternity's pledges will also be reviewed, according to the statement.

“The future of this chapter’s existence remains uncertain,” according to the statement. “Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing, and members are expected to adhere to our stringent guidelines regarding risk management and pledge education.”

Haughee wrote in an e-mail to The Michigan Daily last night that the University will not release specifics of the situation “because of the confidential nature of the complaint.”

“The University of Michigan considers the safety and well-being of students as extremely important, and hazing activities that compromise a student’s safety and health are not tolerated,” Haughee wrote.

Haughee’s e-mail to IFC and Panhel stated that SAE confessed to the hazing allegations after the Cease and Desist Order was issued.

“There were additional communications between the chapter and the national fraternity in which the chapter admitted to having hazing activities in their pledge program,” Haughee wrote in the e-mail to the Greek Life organizations.

The University is currently conducting its own investigation, Haughee wrote in the e-mail to the Daily.

“At this moment, no specific decisions have been made about steps the University may take in the future,” Haughee wrote. “The University will work closely with SAE International to take appropriate action in response to this matter.”

LSA junior Andrew Silver, president of the University's chapter of SAE, declined to comment for the time being, writing in an e-mail that he would like to wait to give an interview until after further working with the national chapter of the fraternity.