Occasionally in the quest to “build balanced men” out of adolescent male Eagles, something goes wrong. Such a thing apparently happened this week at Eastern Washington University's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, where allegations of misbehavior led to the suspension of the entire house. Not academic suspension, but still, the egrets are in hot water with their national chapter.
What does this suspension mean for the ΣΦΕ house? Well, they won’t be getting the boot from their stately brick mansion with the cherry-red French doors and the glimmering-gold Greek letters. Yet.
Until the boys get right with the university and the Sig Ep nationals, there will be no alcohol allowed in the house, though. Because balanced men in the making do more than one handed keg stands.
Meanwhile, the Sig Ep nationals — who’ve been around since 1901 and have a reputation to protect — will be going over everything with a fine-tooth comb. When the nationals got word of “allegations against certain members” last week via an anonymous email to the national chapter, they sent a representative out immediately to lay down the law.
The nationals then released a vague statement indicating that they care about health and safety and expect their brethren to follow rules, laws and their charter. The statement also indicated that the Eastern Sig Eps' debauchery had posed a risk to the safety of at least one student, possibly more.
If the nationals aren’t happy with what they find, they could eventually revoke the Gamma chapter’s charter and evict them.
KREM 2 was on this story from the jump
, sending reporter Lindsay Nadrich to the venerable campus grounds in Cheney to get the real story.
“Sometimes I have to cross the street because they’re outside yelling and screaming,” EWU student Ali Higbee told Nadrich. Higbee wasn’t surprised to hear about the allegations. That’s what the Sig Eps are known for (either getting accused of things or misbehaving, take your pick). Or so she has heard. Higbee did not claim any firsthand knowledge of misbehavior.
The whole thing is a bit of a headache for Eastern media relations guy Dave Meany.
"We don’t control fraternities and sororities," says Meany. "Our only thing is that we recognize them and let them participate in Greek Week."
Both EWU and the national chapter had nothing more to say on this matter. Mostly because they're still investigating and it's complicated and they don't want to tarnish the fraternity's rep any more than it already has been over this anonymous allegation of uncertain nature.
So, does anyone know what the Sig Eps did to land themselves in this predicament? Sig Eps? Tell us your secrets! We'd love to know.