Purdue fraternity suspended for over 4 years

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, located on Waldron Street in West Lafayette, Ind., on Purdue University's campus. (WLFI Photo/Dan Klein)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Purdue fraternity has been suspended from campus until the fall of 2020.

Sigma Phi Epsilon, located at 690 Waldron Street, was already on a four-year probation period beginning in 2013.

Purdue got a report at the end of January about an incident at the end of last semester which violated both University and Interfraternity Council rules. Violations included alcohol, unregistered functions and hazing — specifically forcing younger members to do cleaning and other demeaning work for the older members.

As News 18 reported in November 2013, some of those same issues are what got the fraternity on probation in the first place as well as that three members used the group’s text messaging system to make prescription drugs available.

Purdue Associate Dean of Students Jeff Stefancic tells News 18 that both the local and national organizations took responsibility for the violations.

“When you’re looking at trying to make significant cultural changes to an organization and trying to really provide some distance and time between an incident occurring and that time needed for changes to take place, that does typically add up to several years,” Stefancic said.

There are currently 14 members living in the fraternity, who may stay until the end of the semester.

As for the fraternity house itself, it’s up to the local alumni board what to do with the property.

The length of this suspension gives current fraternity members time to graduate, as well as let the national organization have time to evaluate if they want to come back to Purdue.

Stefancic adds that the violations are taken so seriously because alcohol is one of — if not the — biggest safety concerns for the administration.

“So if you look at an organization that is potentially putting other students at risk, putting other people in harm’s way, that’s something that is always going to attract the attention of the University,” he said.

News 18 reached out to Sigma Phi Epsilon members, who did not want to comment.

This is the third fraternity suspended at Purdue in the last 5-6 years.

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