The CSULB chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon will be closed for “no less than four years,” according to the fraternity’s national headquarters.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters officially suspended the chapter’s charter in late January, according to information released by the organization Friday.
The chapter’s closure followed two sexual assault accusations during the Fall 2015 semester. According to a statement, Long Beach police responded to a claim by two female students that they were sexually assaulted by two members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at an off-campus party in October. The university was notified of the incident by Long Beach police, and the school investigation was handed off to judicial affairs.
Following the reports, CSULB issued a cease and desist order to the fraternity chapter, and notified its national headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. Sigma Alpha Epsilon then suspended the chapter and opened an investigation into the claim.
While the investigation occurred, all chapter activity stopped.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s mission is called “The True Gentleman,” and promotes the “highest standards of friendship, scholarship, and service,” according to its website.
In an official statement, Sigma Alpha Epsilon headquarters said that the chapter at CSULB does not embody the “True Gentleman Experience.”
Currently, the fraternity is not registered with the school and was prohibited from recruiting new members this semester.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters said closing the CSULB chapter is the result of “members’ repeated health-and-safety violations and their inability to adhere to the national organization’s standards and expectations.”
In the statement, Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationals said they have a zero tolerance policy for actions that are not consistent with the mission and creed of “The True Gentleman.” Additionally, they said their national leadership will take action when guidelines are violated.
Brandon Weghorst, the Associate Executive Director of Communications for Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationals, said in an email that closing the chapter means all members have lost their rights and privileges to the organization. Members are not allowed to wear any letters (ΣΑΕ) or use the fraternity’s insignia and trademarks. Furthermore, members are not classified as brothers or members in good standing.
CSULB works with the Interfraternity Council to provide ongoing sexual conduct training, according to the Director of Student Life and Development Brett Waterfield. The IFC works with Title IX and the Health Resource Center to provide preventative and peer training.
Waterfield said he hopes the chapter’s closure will affect the entire Greek system and serve as a reminder that the university doesn’t tolerate “things like this.”
Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationals said in the future, they hope to re-establish a chapter at CSULB with “a group of men who exemplify [their] beliefs and who serve as leaders and role models on campus.”