Ohio State approved Sigma Alpha Mu to resume recruitment and new member activities after the Interfraternity Council-wide suspension in November — but its national headquarters found its behavior so reprehensible it suspended the chapter again.
The Sigma Beta chapter has been suspended from Ohio State for the second time in less than five years, after just one full year back on campus since its first suspension in 2013.
The fraternity’s national headquarters suspended SAM due to violations of the fraternity’s hazing and alcohol policies, according to an email obtained by The Lantern. The email was sent to the fraternity’s alumni and forwarded Friday from Ryan Lovell, senior director for Greek life at Ohio State.
The decision to close the fraternity is the result of an internal investigation into the chapter conducted by its national headquarters.
“The Sigma Alpha Mu International Fraternity has suspended the charter at the Sigma Beta Chapter at The Ohio State University (OSU), effective immediately,” said Andy Huston, the fraternity’s executive director, in the email.
It is unclear whether the members of SAM will have to move out of their fraternity house on Iuka Avenue. It also is unclear how long the suspension will be.
“Our top priority is to create a healthy and safe environment for our members and to foster a culture of responsibility in our chapters,” the email read. “We simply will not tolerate such violations of policies, expectations and values.”
SAM, commonly known as “Sammy,” was approved by Ohio State to conduct recruitment and new member activities Spring Semester, but was not yet approved for social events, according to the website set up by the Office of Student Life in an effort to become more transparent following the suspension of all 37 IFC chapters at the end of the past semester.
SAM’s suspension is significant because it comes at a time when Ohio State is trying to reform Greek life culture, and signals a willingness by national headquarters to be involved in the process.
SAM became the third-known fraternity in October to be under investigation by IFC for possible violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
This is the Ohio State chapter’s second suspension from the national headquarters in the past five years. In 2013, SAM was suspended for one year by the university and an indefinite amount of time by its national headquarters. The members were forced to vacate the house, which now houses both SAM and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
After being reinstated in 2017, SAM will once again cease to exist at Ohio State for the immediate future, calling to question the longevity of the fraternity’s presence at the university.
“We support Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity headquarters and alumni in taking action to hold their Ohio State chapter accountable to the mission and values of their organization,” said Dave Isaacs, a spokesman for Ohio State’s Office of Student Life. “We will continue to work with all of our partners in supporting the safety and success of students involved with fraternities and sororities at Ohio State. Likewise, we will support the students impacted by this decision to help facilitate a smooth transition.”
SAM headquarters did not reply to a request for additional comment at the time of publication.