The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has been suspended from all university activities until November.
UW-Madison officials said they decided to suspend the fraternity after receiving a complaint on March 7 from a student member alleging a hostile, discriminatory environment from 2014 to early 2016.
“I have read the complaint that serves as the basis for this action and I am deeply disappointed in the chapter’s failure to address persistent reports of discriminatory behavior, as well as the national body’s inability to address discrimination within its chapters,” UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank wrote in a letter to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national office “These type of actions are in direct contradiction to the values SAE purports to uphold, as well as our institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion here at UW-Madison.”
The student-led Committee on Student Organizations found the chapter violated the Student Organization Code of Conduct by creating an environment that was discriminatory. The committee found that the fraternity did take action in response to certain complaints of the member, but those actions were insufficient to improve the overall environment.
The chapter has the right to appeal the decision to the Division of Student Life.
The suspension means that the chapter is barred from Greek community events and activities, conducting a fall recruitment and operating with the rights and privileges of a Registered Student Organization. Also, additional training in diversity, inclusion and mental health will be required of all members of the chapter before it can be reinstated.
“As you may be aware, the CSO is requiring the Wisconsin chapter to take part in additional training on diversity, inclusion, discrimination, mental health, and general health and safety,” Blank said in the letter. “It is critical that the national organization demonstrate leadership in working with the Wisconsin chapter to ensure that it advances your vision for diversity and inclusion, which calls upon members to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of all people.”