Christofer Slocum hopes the interim suspension placed on his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, is lifted by the end of next week so members can resume organizational activities.
Slocum, Sigma Phi Epsilon president, said UTA began questioning Sigma Phi Epsilon members Monday about accusations that the fraternity held an unregistered party, provided alcohol to a minor and that a sexual assault occurred at the chapter house Sept. 7.
University spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said Tuesday that the investigations began with the Sept. 7 report.
On Wednesday, she could not provide the dates that fraternity members were or would be questioned.
“All the investigations have begun, none of those have been resolved, and there has not been any formal hearing process. That’s not where we’re at. We’re in the investigative process,” Sullivan said.
Slocum denied accusations that a sexual assault occurred and denied hosting an unregistered party that night. Student Conduct officials told fraternity members the investigation could be wrapped up within two weeks, he said.
Three sexual assaults reported to police in September were said to have happened at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house. After the first sexual assault report made on Sept. 7, the university released a statement saying a male student was placed on interim suspension in connection with the report.
Following that report, five fraternities were issued interim suspensions in connection with underage alcohol use during the fraternity Bid Day weekend, which was Sept. 7 though 8: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Tau Omega. Alpha Tau Omega is being investigated for “allegations of underage alcohol abuse and possible use of illegal drugs,” according to a university statement.
Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi also received the interim suspensions for possible unregistered parties, according to a university statement. As a result, the national headquarters of Sigma Phi Epsilon issued the UTA chapter an order to cease and desist.
As of Tuesday, the police investigation into one of the sexual assault reports had been closed.
Slocum declined interviews with The Shorthorn until the individual’s investigation was complete. Slocum said the individual received a letter that he had been cleared of the accusation. He would not give the individual’s name.
Sullivan would not confirm the results of the investigation into the individual, and university officials have declined to give specifics about what they believe happened at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house the night of Sept. 7.
“We don’t disclose proceedings for individual conduct cases,” Sullivan said.
Slocum said the fraternity did not hold an unregistered party. Instead, members attended a party at the home of an alumnus who was celebrating a new job.
“I have no control over what a graduate of UTA does at his residence,” Slocum said.
The accusations have caused damages to the fraternity’s reputation and has cost them about $10,000 in member dues, Slocum said.
The chapter has about 70 members. The interim suspension was issued before members paid their dues, so the fraternity could not accept the money once suspended. Chapter dues help pay for activities related to recruitment, member development, social events and hosting speakers.
The fraternity has been prohibited from participating in its routine academic programs and intramural sports.
“We pride ourselves in doing well in sports and academics,” Slocum said. “But our academic program is shut down and we can’t play sports.”
Nationally, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters in the summer. The UTA chapter planned on inducting its new members before pairing students with little brothers, but Slocum said they now have been unable to because of the interim suspension.
Slocum said the waiting process has been frustrating.
Sullivan would not comment on when the Student Conduct investigations will conclude.
“We’ve said from the get go that we didn’t know how long this would take because there’s a lot of factors that play in there – the size of the organization, the number of witnesses, that’s a big thing,” she said. “If there are multiple people involved, it just takes long.”
The Shorthorn reached out to the president of each fraternity on interim suspension for this story. None returned calls by press time.
Shorthorn staffer Rafael Sears contributed to this report.
This story, previously published in print on Oct. 9, has been updated to reflect corrected information.