UPDATE 01/23/19: A previous version of this article said a new faculty advisor had been appointed, a new advisor has not yet been appointed
The fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) has been placed on probation by the University due to concerns over the fraternity’s “culture and climate,” the Loyolan has learned.
While under probation, the chapter is temporarily prohibited from recruiting new members and engaging in social functions with alcohol. The “interim responsive measures” by the University also include the permanent cancellation of the SigEp date event MOB (Men of Brotherhood) Days and other educational and chapter development initiatives, according to Director of Student Leadership and Development Andrea Niemi, who oversees Sorority and Fraternity Life. The annual MOB Days social events occur over a week. They include each member choosing a “mob wife” and engaging in events with their partner and their team, earning points to win.
Restrictions placed on the chapter will be reviewed at the end of the Spring 2019 semester and will extend through Fall 2019, according to Niemi.
Alex Gavia, president of SigEp, told the Loyolan that the organization will be releasing a statement shortly.
Members of SigEp held a silent protest in U-Hall on Tuesday, outside of the Board of Regents meeting. Members of the organization held signs with varied messages, such as "University misconduct?" The members also handed packets containing information that has yet to be disclosed to the board members as they entered their meeting.
The Loyolan obtained a letter to SigEp alumni from Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Lane Bove.
Bove wrote in the letter that the University became concerned about the “developing culture” of SigEp on campus, through concerns expressed by Sorority and Fraternity Life, the Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility. Bove continued to say that the University was concerned over evidence of “reported behavior,” conduct cases and other issues brought to the University’s attention.
A member of SigEp said, “We didn’t rape, one guy did,” in a Snapchat message to a member of another fraternity. “The second the guy leaves the school LMU decides to f*** us over.”
The same member of the fraternity said SigEp dropped the member accused of sexual assault once the chapter became aware of the incident and claimed the University took no action.
Students who are rushing fraternities were notified on Friday that SigEp will not be recruiting this semester. When recruitment began, students viewed SigEp as a “top house” that they were hoping to join, according to a freshman recruit the Loyolan spoke to, who asked to remain anonymous. The student also said that students were disappointed to find out the fraternity was restricted and were left wondering about the circumstances that led to the status.
In her letter, Bove encouraged the members of SigEp to “refocus” on the values and pillars of their national fraternity, including the fraternity’s “balanced man” mission. The balanced man program relies on five values: equal rights and responsibilities, continuous development, accountability, living the ritual and mentoring.
Last semester, SigEp’s advisor Fr. Fulco stepped down from his role with the organization as he took a health leave from the University, the Loyolan previously reported. A new advisor has not yet been appointed but according to Bove’s letter, one faculty member has offered services.