Sigma Nu has status officially revoked
The Sigma Nu fraternity has been placed on a three-year suspension following a university investigation.
A drug bust last January and an alleged sexual assault in May have led EWU’s disciplinary council to make the decision to revoke the Sigma Nu fraternity’s recognition status for three academic years.
According to Stacey Morgan Foster, EWU vice president of student affairs, the investigation began after the university became aware of an incident involving unauthorized and unsafe activities.
“There were some behaviors that happened on an unauthorized trip. There was some concern about failing to comply with university rules, providing false information and creating an environment where there was abuse or harm of others,” said Morgan Foster. “And that was their second encounter with the student disciplinary council last year.”
A group of Sigma Nu members made an unofficial trip to British Columbia, Canada, in May. While there one member was allegedly involved in a sexual assault. According to Morgan Foster, in addition to making the unauthorized trip, no one in the group contacted authorities about the assault.
This assault followed a drug bust in January that led to several members facing drug charges.
A noisy party and a woman’s screams at a house on Normal Parkway caught the attention of neighbors on Jan. 15. The night ended with Cheney police obtaining a warrant to search the residence and, according to police reports, finding stashes of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, mushrooms, several guns and $803 in cash. According to the investigating officer’s statement, “virtually every room of the house had some kind of drug or drug paraphernalia in it.”
According to police reports, officers arrested Sigma Nu members Andrew D. Tucker, Kyle A. Hubly and Joseph L. Welsh on charges of using a building for unlawful drug purposes.
A fourth renter of the house was also later identified as Kyle W. Hinshaw. According to police reports, Hinshaw was celebrating his birthday that night and when police arrived he claimed that he was not a resident. Hinshaw also faces charges of using a building for unlawful drug purposes.
Each of the Sigma Nu members and Kyle Hinshaw are scheduled for hearings in Spokane County Superior Court in October and November.
Morgan Foster said the EWU disciplinary council’s decision to revoke the group’s recognition comes with the approval of President Rodolfo Arévalo.
However, the chapter is still recognized by it’s national headquarters. According to Tim Braddick, director of fraternal operations at the national Sigma Nu headquarters, no suspension or sanctions have been made by the national office nor are there any plans for any.
“Our office did take action to suspend the undergraduate members who were involved, specifically who were arrested,” said Braddick. “We did not take membership action against anyone else outside of those who were arrested. [The suspended members] have temporarily lost all rights and privileges [of the Sigma Nu organization] until they graduate.” When the suspended members graduate, they will each still be considered an official alumnus of the organization.
Eastern’s Sigma Nu chapter had the opportunity to appeal the university’s decision, but, according to Braddick, the EWU chapter consulted with alumni leaders and ultimately decided to accept any sanctions given by the university.
On top of community service, fines, re-education classes and the loss of the benefits the university can provide a club, the group will not be able to participate in rush activities or accept new members during its suspension.
According to Morgan Foster, if the group works to complete all of the given tasks and checks in with the dean of students regularly, they may be able to request to be reinstated prior to the three-year period.
“As far as I know, the chapter is going to be working diligently to complete the components and then work to petition for reinstatement,” said Braddick. “If the chapter is not permitted to be reinstated after a year or at the most two years, then the likelihood of the chapter surviving could be pretty small.”