March 3, 2015

National fraternity, university suspend Sigma Nu

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Sigma Nu Fraternity Inc. and Purdue University on Tuesday (March 3) announced the suspension of the fraternity’s Purdue Beta Zeta Chapter of Sigma Nu for two years, effective immediately. The chapter will be eligible to return to the campus for the fall 2017 semester.

The suspension stems from reported incidents of hazing, including servitude, calisthenics, activities between midnight and 7:30 a.m., and scavenger hunts, as well as providing alcohol to minors and reported drug use during functions. The incidents occurred during the fall 2014 semester and were reported at the conclusion of the semester.

The suspension follows university and national fraternity investigations that concluded such activities took place. The fraternity and the university then took joint action to suspend the chapter. The General (national) Fraternity's decision was made in consultation with Beta Zeta alumni leaders and Purdue officials.

“Sigma Nu regrets the loss of the Beta Zeta chapter. However, in keeping with our mission to develop ethical leaders, the Fraternity cannot tolerate such violations of its law, policies and principles,” said executive director Brad Beacham, Sigma Nu Fraternity Inc. “For more than 124 years Sigma Nu Fraternity has supported the growth and development of students at Purdue University. We will work with Beta Zeta alumni leaders, university officials and student leaders to re-establish this legacy of leadership at Purdue in the future. We are grateful for our strong partnership with Purdue, and we appreciate the university’s continuing support.”

The Fraternity’s suspension of the charter means that the chapter will cease to function until recolonization. The approximately 50 student residents of the privately owned chapter house must find new accommodations, and Purdue's Office of the Dean of Students is working with them to find housing options both on campus and off. Once the suspension period is complete, the chapter house, which is in the 1300 block of Tower Drive, will be available for the chapter to recolonize.

"Our Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative community offers many positive contributions to the overall student experience at Purdue University. It is disappointing that this particular organization could not uphold the reasonable behavioral expectations placed upon them. I look forward to working with the organization's national office after the suspension to assist in their return," said Jeffery Stefancic, Purdue associate dean of students.

Purdue’s Sigma Nu chapter was placed on probation during the fall 2014 semester for hosting unregistered social functions. It was placed on probation during spring semester 2013 for making alcohol available to minors and trying to prevent Purdue EMTs and police from entering the house to check on a person’s well-being. 

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077 

Sources/contacts: Jeffery Stefancic, 765-494-1250, jpstefan@purdue.edu

Brad Beacham, 540-463-1869, brad.beacham@sigmanu.org