Official football tailgates on gamedays, along with any other social events, will have to be put on hold for the brothers of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for the foreseeable future.
The Ohio State Theta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, commonly referred to as SAE, was given a cease-and-desist order from the Office of Student Life this week while the university investigates possible violations of the student code of conduct policy.
“The action permits Sigma Alpha Epsilon to continue only essential activities, but requires prior approval,” David Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life said in a statement. “An investigation of possible violations of the Code of Student Conduct is currently underway.”
Details about the nature of the violation are not immediately clear.
Miles Turner, chapter president of SAE, declined to comment on the investigation and instead direct questions to its national headquarters, based in Evanston, Illinois.
“Our headquarters takes every allegation seriously, and we are performing our own separate and immediate investigation as part of our organization’s protocol,” SAE Director of Communications Brandon Weghorst said in a statement.
SAE’s statement did, however, cast doubt on the allegations put forth by the university.
“At this time, we cannot substantiate any of the allegations made to the University but will continue our review,” Weghorst said.
This is not the first time the Theta chapter of SAE has caught heat from the university. In 2001, the chapter had its charter revoked and was forced to leave campus for two years following repeated violations of the student code of conduct.
“The SAE chapter was found to have committed multiple violations of university rules governing conduct of Greek organizations. These violations included three separate violations of the Interfraternity Council/Womens Panhellenic Association Alcohol Policy,” the announcement of SAE’s revocation from 2001 read.
“In addition, over the past 15 months, numerous allegations have been made about chapter members participating in incidents that created substantial threat to other persons and property, including launching beer bottles and frozen water balloons at pedestrians, cars and nearby facilities.”
Ohio State’s decision came after the university worked with the chapter for over a year to align it with university and Interfraternity Council values.
“Despite repeated counseling with university staff, the young men of SAE continued to disregard not only the rules, but more important, the underlying values of both the university and their own organization,” the 2001 announcement read. “Under the circumstances, I believe it is best to withdraw university recognition of SAE for a period of time.”
In 2014, months after being named the “deadliest fraternity” in the country by Bloomberg News, SAE eliminated its pledging process for all chapters across the country.
Pledging is the time in between receiving a bid to join and being officially initiated as a member of the fraternity and is commonly associated with hazing incidents.
In lieu of the now eliminated pledging tradition, SAE introduced “The True Gentleman Experience” instead.