Fraternity appeals suspension charges

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), a national mens fraternity that has had the Florida Delta Chapter at USF since 1968 and has occupied a house in Greek Village since it opened in 2003, is now appealing a four-year suspension ruling after charges of hazing, harassment and other violations were brought against it.

The suspension would revoke its recognition as a fraternity, remove it from its on-campus house and ban the organization from participating in all USF-affiliated activities.

According to an emailed statement from Patrick Romero-Aldaz, director of the Office of Fraternity andSorority Life, SAE was found responsible for violating three university policies outlined in the Standards for Student Organization Conduct: harassment; hazing; and adherence to individual student organization, local and national policies.

The incidents the chapter was found responsible for involved the alleged use of exercise-type activities and verbal degradation of potential members as a means of testing knowledge about the chapter members, organization infor- mation, etc, University spokes- woman Lara Wade-Martinez said in an email to The Oracle.

No physical injuries have been reported, Wade-Martinez said.

University Police (UP) also did not have records of opencases, complaints or charges against the fraternity or its members, according to UP Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Daniel.

Wade-Martinez said further information on the incidents that led to the investigation, case and hearing could not be provided.

(Federal and state laws) require that the university make a reasonable determina- tion that any student informa- tion released cannot be directly or indirectly traced back to any individual student, she said in an email to The Oracle.

SAE is in the process of appealing the ruling to remove it from campus. The fraternity, had been investigated in a process similar to individual conduct code violations, Romero-Aldaz said.

The chapter has the rightto appeal and sanctions levied are not final until either the appeal period expires or an appeal, is filed and a decision made by the appellate hearing, he said.

A decision regarding the appeal should be made within the next week, Wade-Martinez said.

If the appeal does not go through, the fraternity will work with the Department of Housing and Residential Education and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in regards to handling the members eviction from the house, Romero-Aldaz said.

Five SAE members contacted declined to com- ment.Executive Board mem- bers of USFs Interfraternity Council and the SAE national office could not be reached for comment.