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Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Idaho Alpha Chapter Closed at the University of Idaho

March 13, 2018

The Idaho Alpha Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity was closed March 13, 2018, by its national organization at the conclusion of an investigation into the chapter’s failure to abide by its national guidelines as well as safety and health violations.

“We expect that our groups and members live according to the mission and values of our organization,” said Mike Sophir, the eminent supreme recorder and CEO of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Inc., based in Evanston, Illinois.

The University of Idaho was made aware of an investigation in December when the chapter was put on a cease and desist order by the national fraternity; the nature of the allegations were not known to the university at that time. U of I has since learned the allegations include hazing and is conducting an additional investigation into this matter as part of our student code of conduct process.

“We support the decision of SAE’s national office, and commend them for investigating a complaint and making this decision,” Dean of Students Blaine Eckles said. “The well-being and safety of our students comes first at the University of Idaho and an investigation by the university into the alleged safety and behavior violations is underway.”

Fraternity members residing in the SAE chapter facility were notified earlier today and will need to identify alternative housing arrangements by March 18, 2018. Freshmen living in the chapter house will move into campus housing, per the university requirement that all freshmen live on campus. The fraternity chapter’s recognition will be suspended by the university during the closure.

The chapter house itself is owned by a local not-for-profit corporation.

As part of the closure agreement, U of I will partner with SAE’s national office to allow recolonization of the fraternity starting in August 2022 under certain conditions, including the expectation that members keep a dry chapter facility and have a live-in advisor. 

The entire fraternity and sorority community at U of I has been working to raise expectations in light of national incidents. U of I’s Greek students self-imposed an alcohol moratorium in December.

The moratorium has recently been lifted for chapters that have met and maintain certain conduct standards, which were established by student-leadership. The moratorium was not in response to any one incident or organization, but instead a response to the growing national crisis surrounding personal violence like hazing and sexual assault, as well as alcohol abuse.

“The student leadership in our fraternity and sorority community have taken this moratorium and its intent seriously and are finding solutions to prevent injury to their fellow students,” Eckles said. “A positive student experience and the safety of our students should always be our first priority and SAE has made it clear that this is a priority for them, which is why we look forward to a continued future partnership with the national headquarters and our distinguished alumni.”

Media Contact: 
Jodi Walker
Director, University Communications
208-885-4295
jwalker@uidaho.edu

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu