GOODBYE TO SIGMA PI

 Uncategorized
Sep 092004
 
Authors: James Baetke

After a CSU investigation of the Sigma Pi fraternity, university

officials announced Thursday they have terminated Sigma Pi as a

student organization with the cooperation of its national

headquarters.

“Sigma Pi’s national charter has revoked their membership and

CSU has terminated them as a student organization,” said Brad

Bohlander, a CSU spokesman.

The decision to dissolve Sigma Pi was based on details obtained

from a university investigation. Sigma Pi infractions included

recent incidents of hosting unauthorized parties and serving

alcohol at the fraternity house, which is a violation of

university-fraternity rules, and serving alcohol to minors, a

university press release said.

The national charter and CSU have been working closely to

investigate and draw conclusions on how and if to deal with Sigma

Pi. It has been a “joint effort,” Bohlander said.

The decision to revoke the fraternity of its membership comes

just four days after 19-year-old Samantha Spady was found dead in a

seldom-used room at the Sigma Pi house, 709 Wagner Drive. The cause

of her death has still not been confirmed by official autopsy

results, but Fort Collins police said her death may be alcohol

related.

The decision to remove Sigma Pi is not solely based on Spady’s

death.

“We’re going to leave as gentlemen with our heads up,” said

Darren Pettapiece, Sigma Pi’s chapter president.

Pettapiece refused to answer additional questions because he

said he was on the way to Beatrice, Neb. for the funeral services

of Spady and did not have time. Spady was born in Beatrice and

graduated from high school there.

Anne Hudgens, executive director for Campus Life, said the

members of Sigma Pi are dealing with two tragedies now: the death

of Spady and the death of their fraternal organization.

“The men of Sigma Pi knew it needed to happen and were accepting

to the responsibilities that led them here,” Hudgens said. “What I

understand is that they acted with dignity to lose their

organization.”

It is not very typical for a Greek entity to be removed from its

membership and university standing, Hudgens said. “We have not lost

any chapters in a number of years, about since 2001.”

The university has begun this week to develop an alcohol task

force in lieu of Spady’s death. It will look at the programs and

policies concerning alcohol abuse related to CSU students. It will

also examine binge drinking, underage drinking and the Greek system

in relation to alcohol.

“In light of recent events, and as part of our strong commitment

to student safety, we will look to this task force to help us

evaluate our current efforts, compare them to best practices and

ensure that our efforts and actions are effective,” said Linda Kuk,

vice president for Student Affairs.

Kuk said that dealing with the issue of alcohol abuse among the

overall student population, as well as in the Greek System, is an

ongoing issue and problem at universities across the nation,

including CSU.

Rita Davis, Fort Collins Police Services spokeswoman, said that

pending the investigation of Spady’s death, criminal charges could

be filed on whoever supplied the minor with alcohol, if at all. It

is still unknown exactly how Spady made it from a single car

accident on Saturday night to the Sigma Pi house that night into

Sunday, Davis said.

Based on results of ongoing university and police

investigations, additional university disciplinary actions may be

taken against other students found to have provided alcohol to

Spady. University actions would be in addition to any Fort Collins

police or district attorney actions, a university press release

said.

Fort Collins police have been called to the fraternity house 21

times in the last three years – once in 2002, seven times in 2003,

and 13 times this year. Sigma Pi has been associated with the

university since 1993. They were disciplined earlier this year for

violating university rules that ban parties at fraternity and

sorority houses.

 

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