Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity is leading a charge against the Office of Student Conduct and UT’s judicial system at large after being suspended through May 2008 for two violations of the Code of Conduct.
“University officials have not adequately allowed students and organizations to be heard in a fair and equal judicial system in front of our peers,” fraternity representatives Joshua Murphy and Stephen DePalo said in a resolution presented at last Tuesday’s student government meeting.
The resolution outlines key problem areas where the representatives want to see change, including everything from how members of the student conduct boards are selected to the level of student involvement during administrative boards.
It’s also being sponsored by SG President-elect Andrew Learned and SG’s current VP of Communications, Mark Kieslor,
However, the Conduct process has already entered review, Judicial Coordinator Mike Gilmer said.
“Members from around the campus community have already started reviewing how student organizations progress through the conduct process. One of the proposals is to have a true “blended” board, comprised of students involved and not involved in student organizations, [along with] faculty and staff to fully encapsulate the campus community,” he explained.
“Through the conduct review process, students have direct involvement with the creation of new policies. Once policies are changed, Student Government reviews and approves the changes before the changes are finalized.”
Hearing Sparked Protest
Murphy and DePalo, the respective Chaplain and President of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity respectively, joined in the resolution after their organization was found responsible for noncompliance with directives and for violation of other University policies.
The charges stemmed from a December incident last year, Gilmer said.
“Facebook pages showed what appeared to be an unregistered alcohol event … there were members from the organization who were seen playing beer pong,” he explained. “Also, one of the witnesses said that there was underage drinking.”
Gilmer said that the administrative board’s rationale in finding the fraternity responsible lay in the fact that though fraternity representatives stated that the event was unplanned, witnesses said they had known about the event as much as a week in advance.
The board also mentioned that there were at least 17 of the fraternity’s 34 brothers who had been identified as at the event.
“Sigma Phi Epsilon had just completed their CARE training,” Gilmer said. “They knew that with a large number of brothers there, it would be easily considered an event