Northwestern suspends SAE, five weeks after Loyola did
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Five weeks after being suspended from Loyola University Chicago, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at Northwestern University has been barred from campus.
The suspension also comes about three weeks after school officials closed an investigation into an alleged sexual assault at the Evanston frat house, and marks the latest in a series of controversies surrounding SAE chapters across the country in recent years.
According to Northwestern spokesman Bob Rowley, SAE had been on probation for serving alcohol to minors at a party last fall, and was prohibited from hosting any gatherings during the 2017 calendar year.
“With blatant disregard for the terms of that probation, SAE planned and hosted social events with alcohol in January 2017,” Rowley said in an email. Administrators on Friday suspended the chapter from campus until Sept. 1, 2018.
A spokesman for SAE’s national organization, which is based in Evanston, did not return messages Monday seeking comment, nor did the president of the NU chapter. The fraternity has until the end of this week to appeal the decision.
The school is helping to accommodate members being forced to move out of the frat house by May 6.
In February, Northwestern officials said they were investigating reports that four women students might have been drugged, and two of them sexually assaulted, at an SAE event on Jan. 21.
The national organization ordered the chapter to “cease social activities” before the school announced last month that “no disciplinary action or further investigative action related to the reports of sexual misconduct will be taken at this time.”
Rowley said SAE’s suspension had no connection to the sexual assault allegations.
On March 15, the SAE chapter at Loyola was suspended for three years due to an alleged hazing incident, and for “engaging in disruptive and disorderly conduct that caused a disturbance in the neighborhood,” Loyola officials said. The fraternity has appealed that decision.
Several SAE members have been expelled from the University of Southern Mississippi as officials investigate an alleged sexual assault at a homecoming party last fall, and the fraternity was suspended for about six months from the University of Wisconsin-Madison last spring when school investigators found a member used a racial slur and choked another member who is black.
Another chapter at the University of Oklahoma was disbanded in 2015 when video emerged of members performing a racist chant.
“Every brother is required to complete training programs on various important topics, including sexual assault, hazing, alcohol and substance abuse, and diversity and inclusion,” the fraternity says on its website.