Fraternity Cuts Ties With University Due to Sexual Assault Investigation

A fraternity that is no longer affiliated with Cal State Long Beach is causing concern for school officials. Last year, in February 2017, fraternity, Sigma Chi, was suspended from the university due to allegations of three sexual assaults. University officials are worried because the chapter has decided to break ties with the school and continue to put on events. Later in 2017, another student, who shall remain nameless, came forward and reported a July 2017 assault to the university, launching a Title IX investigation, Press Telegram reports. The student says that she was unaware that the fraternity was suspended at the time of their party. 

After nearly 8 months of deliberation, officials for Sigma Chi International did request that the universities investigation be expedited. The university however would not consider lifting the suspension until all investigations were complete. If any wrongdoing had occurred, the fraternity would either be suspended immediately or have their charter removed. On the other hand, if the fraternity was in the clear, the suspension would be quickly lifted. 

The fraternity, who had just come back from a 15 year suspension due to violating hazing policies, chose to sever ties with the university and remain independently active.

“The university kept the chapter on cease-and-desist for seven months without beginning an investigation into the chapter,” said Michael Church, the executive director of the fraternity’s international headquarters. “And declined several times to collaborate with Sigma Chi International Fraternity on several suggested pathways of potential restoration efforts during that time period.”

Jeff Klaus, Vice President for Student Affairs says that although Sigma Chi cut ties with the school, he isn't sure that they are advertising their independence well. Many students are still under the impression that the fraternity is associated with the university. 

"If they do put on an event in the community, I would venture to say that most of the members, if not all are our students."

Klaus says explaining the fraternity is no longer sanctioned by the school, and then getting students not to attend is more difficult than not.  

"I certainly do not want to encourage students that if they have a pattern of sexual assault occurring at events connected to their organization - we do not want our students to participate in that." 

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