Stanford University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity has lost its house indefinitely after a university investigation found that its members engaged in acts of intimidation and retaliation, including deterring a female student from reporting a potential Title IX concern involving the fraternity.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), whose housing privileges were suspended earlier this year following a sexual harassment investigation, will now be an unhoused fraternity, the university announced Wednesday.
An investigation conducted this spring uncovered two incidents of intimidation and retaliation that occurred within the fraternity in recent months, both relating to concerns about federal gender equity law Title IX, the university said. One incident involved intimidation and retaliatory conduct, including acts of cyberbullying directed at another student based on a false belief that the student had reported Title IX concerns about SAE, according to the university.
The investigation also found that SAE members held social events at the Campus Drive house with non-members and had alcohol in common areas of the house on several occasions in recent months. This violated sanctions the university handed down this spring following a previous investigation that found the fraternity had created a hostile environment for female students at a May 2014 event in violation of Title IX and university policy.
That investigation resulted in SAE losing its house for two years, a decision that the fraternity appealed. Vice Provost for Student Affairs Greg Boardman, the appeal officer for the case, found no grounds for overturning the findings of the investigation, but allowed members to stay in the house through the spring quarter of this year, an extension of the original sanction. They were not allowed to have alcohol in the house or host social events during that time.
"The university recognizes that some members of SAE sought to comply with the university restrictions and encourage their fellow fraternity members to do likewise," the university said in a statement Wednesday. "However, those members were not successful. Moreover, the university finds most egregious and will not tolerate conduct that intimidates students for speaking out when they believe they or others have been wronged."
Stanford also placed SAE on probationary status for three academic years.
"The chapter will continue to be a recognized student organization; however, it will be considered a chapter not in good standing," the university said.
In partnership with the university, representatives from SAE national headquarters and alumni will conduct a full membership review of current members by the end of the fall 2015 quarter. The review aims to determine whether each member is "living up to the standards and ideals of the fraternity," the university said. If not, SAE will be expected to dismiss any such member from the chapter.
For the rest of the current school year, SAE is prohibited from having any alcohol in the current house or surrounding property, having non-member guests in the house and sponsoring any social events. The fraternity can appeal the university's sanctions to Provost John Etchemendy.