Campus revokes recognition of fraternity

The campus revoked its recognition of the UC Berkeley chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon on July 15 following repeated student conduct, social code and risk management violations and failure to comply with prior sanctions.

The fraternity had previously been under a state of stayed revocation — a probationary period often resorted to before installing a final revocation — since January 2008 and had eight incidents in the last year in which the campus Code of Student Conduct was violated, according Amanda Carlton, director of student involvement for the campus Center for Student Leadership.

“After a period of time in which there have been multiple violations, we attempt many different courses before revocation,” Carlton said. “It is not very common, but we try our best to make sure the chapters are in alignment with university policy.”

According to Carlton, the incidents all occurred at the chapter’s house on Bancroft Way and involved fire safety violations and failure to follow guidelines for serving alcohol.

“Because the fraternity had eight violations in the last year, from July 2010 to July 2011, (the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards) offered a resolution to the fraternity as a final step towards revocation,” Carlton said.

Chapter president Daniel Meyer accepted this resolution as an informal revocation on July 15, and as a result, the UC Berkeley chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is no longer endorsed by the campus. Additionally, the chapter cannot apply to be re-granted recognition for another four years.

Meyer declined to comment on the situation with the fraternity, stating in an email that any publicity in which the chapter participates needed to be cleared by the national organization.

National representatives from Sigma Alpha Epsilon could not be reached for comment.

Because the fraternity is no longer recognized by the campus, it cannot access campus-supported funding opportunities or participate in campuswide or all-Greek events put on by CalGreeks, Carlton said.

She added that the members and alumni of the fraternity as well as national organization affiliates cannot recruit members on campus for another four years.

Since 2005, the campus has revoked recognition of campus chapters of seven fraternities and one sorority, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, for reasons including fire and safety violations, social code violations and repeated risk management violations.

Since then, only one fraternity, Pi Alpha Phi, has regained recognition from the campus after its revocation period was over.

In order to reapply for recognition, leaders of the campuswide chapter and national organization as well as alumni must begin talks with both the staff at the Fraternity and Sorority Life unit of the Division of Student Affairs and leaders from the campus Interfraternity Council after the chapter has complied with the terms of its revocation.

David Lopez, president of the campus Interfraternity Council, declined to comment on the situation with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, stating in an email that discussing the matter would have to be deferred to the campus.

According to Carlton, the process for establishing or rechartering a fraternity or sorority chapter is more involved than starting a student organization.

“We hold fraternities and sororities to higher standards, because they have a sponsored relationship with the university,” she said.

Amruta Trivedi covers academics and administration.