SAE suspended four years for hazing

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, whose house is located on St. George Street, has agreed to a four-year suspension following a hazing investigation. Update: On May 13, Susan Lantz, Dean of Students, sent an email to campus announcing that Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) had been suspended from campus for four years (as opposed to the initially-reported five) for “hazing and other violations.”

According to Lantz, the investigation against SAE had been on-going since “late last fall,” when a father submitted an anonymous letter to the University.

“The consequent investigation . . . revealed a pattern of continuing and hazardous conditions inimical to the principles of the University, violations of the Code of Conduct that all student organizations agree to follow as members of the campus community, and behavior unbefitting the standards of our Greek-letter community,” Lantz said in the email.

SAE will not be allowed to hold any fraternity functions during the four-year suspension period. Pending good behavior, it will become eligible for re-colonization in Fall 2015.

The original article printed in the April 29 edition of The Bucknellian appears below:

SAE facing hazing allegations

By Rob Duffy

Editor-in-Chief

The University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity (SAE) is facing either suspension from the University or criminal charges for alleged hazing and illegal alcohol and drug use.

Tom Evelyn, the University’s senior director of news and media relations, confirmed to The Bucknellian that the University “has reason to believe that [SAE] and its members have violated University policy and local and state laws.”

On April 12, the University notified SAE, its local alumni organization and its national fraternity office that the fraternity has two options moving forward. If all three organizations agree, the University will suspend SAE from campus for five years effective July 1. Following this course of action, the chapter would be allowed to re-colonize in 2016 at either its current location or in a newly constructed location on South Campus.

If the three organizations do not agree to the suspension, the University has informed SAE that it will initiate criminal and student conduct charges against the fraternity and its members, which could possibly, according to Evelyn, result in “permanent expulsion of the fraternity.”

SAE has been given a deadline of May 1 to make this decision.

The University has already notified the District Attorney of its investigation and its evidence against SAE.

Evelyn was the only person who would speak to The Bucknellian about the investigation. Kevin Foster, Assistant Director of Residential Education for Fraternity Affairs, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. SAE president William D’Agostino ’12 and several other members of the fraternity declined comment. Interfraternity Council president Michael Higgins ’12 also declined comment. Kristi Conklin ’12, representative on the Council on Greek Life deferred comment to Evelyn and Pete Mackey, University Vice President for Communications, who was not able to be reached for comment.

No additional details were available about the nature of SAE’s alleged violations or the University’s evidence regarding the infractions.

According to the Univeristy’s Plan for Prominence, the University has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding hazing.

Hazing is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. A third-degree misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to a year of imprisonment. Additional charges and penalties may be applied for additional laws broken during the act of hazing—for example, alcohol or drug laws.

“Our Greek-letter organizations are an important component of the University experience, and we are committed to ensuring that all students who participate in our fraternities or sororities enjoy and benefit from the experience,” Evelyn said.

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