UM fraternity closed after Meredith statue incident

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By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

OXFORD – The national board of directors of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity will close the chapter on the University of Mississippi campus, the university announced in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

The national organization suspended the chapter in February after three freshmen members were responsible for desecrating the James Meredith statue on the Ole Miss campus. Those members were subsequently voted out of the fraternity, and national staff said then it would investigate the incident.

That investigation cited a pattern of “bad behavior and serious, inexcusable hazing” within the chapter, UM Dean of Students Sparky Reardon said in the press release. The internal review, requested by the university, also found incidents of underage drinking.

“Periodic reports from and meetings with local alumni and national headquarters led us to believe that the chapter was improving,” Reardon said. “Based on regular visits by representatives from the University of Mississippi Office of Greek Life with current Sigma Phi Epsilon members, chapter officers, local and regional volunteers and national headquarters, the university had no reason to believe this type of behavior and conduct was happening.”

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com