ARLINGTON — The suspension for the University of Texas at Arlington chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon has been reduced to one year in connection with providing alcohol to minors as young as 14.The fraternity originally faced a three-year suspension, but that punishment was changed after an appeal.A Nov. 19 final outcome letter to the fraternity states: “… the chapter is lucky more serious outcomes did not result from these events.”The letter, signed by UTA assistant professor Paul Krawietz, adds, “I feel the supporting evidence does not warrant suspension for three years.”Krawietz, the appointed hearing officer, could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.Christofer Slocum, president of the fraternity, could not be reached for comment. Sigma Phi Epsilon is accused of selling mixed drinks to underage people at a “Glow Party” that was part of the fraternity’s Aug. 23-Sept. 7 Bid Day activities. Bid Day, when students are accepted into fraternities and sororities, was Sept. 7.The fraternity is accused of allowing seven to 10 teens ages 14 to 18 into a party at the frat house, where they consumed alcohol with the fraternity’s members. Fraternity members are also accused of drinking alcohol in the morning in common areas before and after new member orientation.Under the current disciplinary sanctions, Sigma Phi Epsilon will be on suspension through Aug. 31, 2014 and all members living at the fraternity house must be out before Dec. 31. No one will be allowed to live in the house, at 705 S. Davis Dr., until Sept. 1, 2014, according to the outcome letter.Additional disciplinary actions include:• No social activities from Sept. 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015.• Members must attend training, which focuses on college life responsibilities with regard to alcohol, drugs and sexual violence.• Members must attend City of Arlington minor in possession course by Jan. 31.• The chapter must host two community alcohol awareness events.• Ten hours of community service per member must be completed by Jan. 31.After an investigation, UTA also put three other fraternities — Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha — on probation until May 31 for underage drinking and unregistered parties surrounding Bid Day activities. A fifth fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, was put on interim suspension because of allegations of hazing and early acceptance of a pledge.Sigma Chi initially appealed its suspension but has since withdrawn its appeal, said Kristin Sullivan, spokeswoman for UTA.UT Arlington police are still investigating two criminal cases involving allegations of sexual assault, on Aug. 23 and Sept. 7, at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, but those investigations are separate from the student conduct investigations.Police have stated in both cases that the suspect was known to the victim. No further information has been released. This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1