Montana State University announced today that the Sigma Chi fraternity at MSU has agreed to permanent sanctions eliminating the consumption of hard alcohol in the fraternity house and requirements that it educate its members about sexual assault after a university investigation found the fraternity violated the university’s alcohol policy, student conduct code, and fraternity/sorority risk management policy.
Sigma Chi is the second MSU fraternity that has reached an agreement with Matt Caires, MSU Dean of Students, following violations in the houses at the beginning of the school year. Earlier this month Pi Kappa Alpha also agreed to four sanctions.
“Sigma Chi is being held to the same standards as we’ve agreed with the Pi Kappa Alpha," Caires said.
The MSU investigation of the fraternity came in the wake of an alleged sexual assault that occurred there in September. The MSU Police Department has conducted a criminal investigation of the alleged assault and turned its findings over to Gallatin County for possible prosecution. While the outcome of the sexual assault case is pending, the university did find the fraternity had violated its alcohol policy, student conduct code, and fraternity/sorority risk management policy – enough to warrant sanctions.
Sigma Chi has agreed to the same four sanctions as the Pikes, which include:
- Requiring all members of the fraternity participate in sexual assault prevention training this spring with the MSU VOICE Center, which provides education, advocacy and support regarding sexual assault.
- Annually offering sexual assault prevention training at the beginning of the fraternity’s new member education system.
- Prohibiting the consumption of hard alcohol on the fraternity’s premises, starting immediately.
- Ensuring a high level of risk management during all events at all times when the fraternity hosts guests, especially during the first four weeks of the fall semester, beginning in fall 2014. This means the fraternity will have multiple members who agree to be sober during evenings and weekends and who will ensure that all intoxicated guests are escorted home and not taken advantage of, sexually or otherwise, at any time in the chapter’s house.
Any violation of the agreement will lead to additional sanctions under the student conduct code, including, but not limited to, the fraternity’s loss of recognition by MSU.
Ryan Donahue, adviser of MSU's Beta Rho Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity, said the chapter is resolved to holding its members accountable to the agreement.
"We at Beta Rho do not condone the type of behavior that resulted in an alleged sexual misconduct incident in September 2013 and have taken immediate and positive actions, since the onset of the investigation, to continue to foster a positive and safe environment for MSU students," Donahue said.
Matt Caires, MSU Dean of Students, 406-994-2826, firstname.lastname@example.org