Hazing News

Sig Ep at Arizona on the bubble with a very rare five-year bounce possible

Story link to alleged hazing incident

excerpt from story

By Aaron Mackey
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.30.2009
University of Arizona officials are in the process of removing a fraternity from campus after a purported hazing incident last fall.
Officials notified the UA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon late last semester that that they intended to withdraw the university’s recognition of the fraternity and suspend it for five years after a hazing violation was reported, said Carol Thompson, UA dean of students.
The reported hazing took place during the fall semester, though Thompson wouldn’t provide any other details of the incident because the fraternity, known informally as Sig Ep, is appealing the decision. Neither the fraternity’s president nor its adviser would comment.
The appeal is tentatively scheduled to begin in March. UA policy requires that appeals are heard by a five-member board of two students, two faculty members and one non-faculty employee.
The UA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, located behind University Medical Center in the 1400 block of North Vine Avenue, had 85 members during a census last spring, according to the national fraternity’s Web site.
Founded in 1901, Sigma Phi Epsilon has chapters at 260 college campuses across the country with an estimated undergraduate membership of 13,500. It is the largest fraternity in the country in terms of undergraduate enrollment, according to the fraternity’s Web site.
Lost university recognition would mean the fraternity wouldn’t be able to participate in any official events with other fraternities and sororities.
Often, lost recognition by the university is a precursor to the fraternity losing its national charter, which kills any official presence on campus.
A fraternity can try to re- establish itself on campus after the suspension term is complete, though the process is long and involved.
Adding to the difficulty of getting back on campus is that other national fraternities that lack official campus recognition are waiting for an open spot at the UA, Thompson said.
While the UA receives reports of hazing involving fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations every semester, only rarely do they result in a group losing campus recognition or its national charter.
In the past several years, only a handful of fraternities have been removed from campus, including Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi in 2003.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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