Four more fraternities placed on interim suspension following alcohol, hazing, health violations

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by Kaitlyn Little, News Editor

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Four more fraternities have been put on interim suspension at San Diego State — bringing the total number of chapters facing disciplinary investigations to seven since late August.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was disciplined on Oct. 4, with Kappa Sigma following on Oct. 10, Director of Student Life & Leadership Caryl Montero-Adams said in an email response. Both of these fraternities were disciplined due to alcohol and health and safety violations. Nu Alpha Kappa was disciplined on Sept. 25 for alcohol-related activities and hazing violations. Theta Chi was then disciplined on Oct. 10 for violating alcohol, health and safety and hazing policies, with violations of dishonesty and harassment and abusive behavior. 

All of the chapters have been placed on interim suspension until the investigations into their wrongdoings have been completed, Montero-Adams said.

The SDSU chapter of Kappa Sigma and Nu Alpha Kappa declined to comment. Neither the SDSU chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Theta Chi were immediately available for comment. 

These interim suspensions come just over a month after three other fraternities — Sigma Phi Epsilon, Delta Upsilon and Phi Kappa Psi — were disciplined in late August. 

There is limited information available about the incidents that led to these violations because the investigations into all seven cases are still pending.

In the last two academic years, four of the current fraternities on interim suspension “were found responsible for alleged violations of the Student Organization Code of Conduct,” according to Montero-Adams. Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon received formal warnings, Phi Kappa Psi went on probation and Sigma Phi Epsilon had a suspension in abeyance.

Montero-Adams said the fraternities have not been placed on a social moratorium, or party ban, at this time. This is unlike in 2018 when the Interfraternity Council imposed a party ban after six of its then 15 chapters were placed on “elevated status,” meaning they were facing either suspensions or probation. The ban was lifted last October. 

The latest wave of interim suspensions means six of the IFC’s now 14 chapters are currently on elevated status. Nu Kappa Alpha is not a part of the IFC.

IFC President Steven Plante said these violations are something the council takes very seriously.

“We can’t ever have a tunnel vision mindset,” Plante said. “And a lot of people think that seizing all activity would answer all of our questions, but unfortunately, I truly don’t believe that’s the answer. I don’t believe that just trying to get rid of everything is going to solve our issues. And unfortunately, if we were to do that people would just be more inclined to do their own thing and then they wouldn’t have a governing council like IFC.”

The national chapters of Kappa Sigma, Nu Alpha Kappa and Theta Chi all said they are investigating these cases along with the university. The national chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was not immediately available for comment.

There have been educational and structural changes put in place in Greek life to help change these kinds of behaviors, Montero-Adams said. There are new member symposiums addressing alcohol, drugs, hazing and sexual violence. Additionally, there are required community wellness workshops for various chapters.

“While the organizations may stay the same every year, there’s new groups of students that we’re continuously working to educate within the organizations,” Montero-Adams said. “And so as we have new members come in, we have changed the way the new member education process works. So from our office, we’re facilitating symposiums that address some of the big issues that we see within the organization.”

If anyone has concerns or reports about the Greek community, they are encouraged to fill out the IFC Active Bystander Submission Form. Plante said this helps to take action and handle issues internally with members of the IFC through their judicial hearing process. The form is entirely confidential and only the IFC President and IFC Vice President of Judicial Affairs have access to. 

“It allows us an opportunity to really hear from the community what’s happening because we’re not out on the streets patrolling every single night,” Plante said. “But we are able to have access to that form, which gives us more insight to what’s happening. And that way we’re able to better adjudicate our chapters independently with IFC.”

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