Activities & Organizations News

UH fraternity, sorority members speak out about Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi

The Epsilon Xi chapter of Sigma Chi was suspended after allegations of hazing were brought forward to their national chapter. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Members of the Greek community said they are shocked by the suspension of the Epsilon Xi chapter of the Sigma Chi last week and believe that UH may have acted too soon.

“I think UH should have gotten more details about the situation before suspending the students,” said psychology senior and Omega Phi Gamma member Bi Pham. “There are always multiple sides to the story.”

In January, allegations of hazing were brought to the attention of Sigma Chi International Fraternity. The investigation was turned over to UHPD on Feb. 19 after the national chapter became aware of a full investigation by local authorities. On March 17, President and Chancellor Renu Khator sent an email to the entire UH System, where she announced Sigma Chi’s suspension.

“I was really shocked,” said history senior Alex Roman, a member of Sigma Lamda Beta. “There should have been further investigations, and UH should have looked more into it before placing the students on suspension.”

UH investigated the allegations before turning over the information to the Harris Country District Attorney’s Office. While some students thought that UH was too quick to act, some believed it was necessary.

“What happened with Sigma Chi was definitely shocking. Everyone knows about the hazing policy,” said public relations junior Leticia Hernandez, a member of Kappa Delta Chi. “I think for the students’ safety, the suspensions needed to be done.”

In the email, Khator wrote that she was “shocked, dismayed and deeply disappointed” by the allegations.

“I’m surprised at the fact that a fraternity on campus would do such a thing to a group of students that only wanted to be part of a group of brothers,” said finance junior and Pi Kappa Phi member Shameet Desai. “If Sigma Chi did break the IFC recruitment rules, then I believe the suspension was right on.”

-Additional reporting by Glissette Santana

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  • Its funny that the greek community keeps saying UH acted too quickly, and should have gotten all the facts first when they have no idea what allegations were made and who has said what, or what evidence exists. Maybe it will all come to nothing, but with an agressive suspension, a statement from the Chancellor, a statement from Sigma Chi national, and the police turning over allegations to the DA (i.e., criminal acts) I highly doubt it will turn out so rosy for them. Honestly, if national had it for a month before police picked up on it I suspect UH Sigma Chi knew exactly what is being alleged, and just know better than to speak the allegations publicly. Sigma Chi national handed off the investigation to the University making it a matter of public record, so it will come out soon enough…maybe when the first warrant is filed. Sigma Chi actives may be keeping their mouths shut, but the recent pledges would be better off looking out for themselves I suspect rather than being found complicit. If nothing happened, I hope administration acknowledges that publicly so that Sigma Chi can save face…if something did happen, I hope the right people get appropriately addressed. The greek system is a valid and useful system for student success when done right, but sometimes it is done wrong, and the greek community would be better served by acknowledging when that is the case rather than getting defensive.

    • I suspect that the aggressive suspension was a CYA by the University due to all of the Greek issues in the news recently. Also, the DA kicked it back to the UHPD due to not enough evidence. Honestly, did no one learn from the Duke Lacrosse fiasco? This guilty until proven innocent crap is getting old.

  • Whatever is alleged, it’s just that, an allegation. Last I checked, there’s something called due process. If there was any indication of hazing, the DA would’ve filed charges. However, ruining the semester that these students paid for without any viable evidence or charges is pure unconstitutional and unjust. Because there haven’t been any arrests or charges, Leads me to believe they jumped the gun. If they are found guilty, then I would agree that they deserve it, but what about if they are innocent, is it OK to be punished for something you didn’t do? Also just because you think someone is guilty and they get defensive doesn’t actually mean they’re guilty. Food for thought.

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