Colorado State University today announced the termination of the Sigma Pi fraternity as a student organization, a move supported by the university’s student Intrafraternity Council and backed by the national Sigma Pi organization which revoked the group’s charter. This decision was based on several Sigma Pi rule infractions, including alcohol-related violations, over the past year.
In addition, the student presidents of campus fraternities and sororities are meeting this evening to discuss changes in the Greek community to address alcohol abuse. The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Cherokee Park room of the Lory Student Center.
The university is also moving forward on creating a university-community task force to examine Colorado State’s programs and policies in dealing with alcohol abuse. Task force members are being appointed this week.
The decision to dissolve Sigma Pi was based on details obtained from a university investigation. Sigma Pi infractions included recent incidents of hosting unauthorized parties and serving alcohol at the fraternity house, which is a violation of university-fraternity rules, and serving alcohol to minors. The fraternity and its members will no longer function as a part of the Greek community and the chapter will not be recognized as a student organization.
Sigma Pi national organization representatives responded quickly to last weekend’s events and arrived in Fort Collins on Sunday evening. The representatives have worked closely with the university to investigate the chapter, take appropriate actions and orchestrate an orderly closure of the fraternity.
Based on results of ongoing university and police investigations, additional university disciplinary actions may be taken against other students found to have provided alcohol to an underage sophomore student who died last weekend. University actions would be in addition to any Fort Collins police or district attorney actions.
Students in fraternities and sororities represent approximately 8 percent of the overall student population. Beginning in 1999, newly chartered fraternities must be alcohol-free, and eight of the 19 fraternities (including six new chapters) are alcohol free. All eight sororities are alcohol free.
The task force will closely examine a wide range of issues, including binge drinking, underage drinking among students, as well as the fraternity and sorority system and the overall culture of the institution as part of its charge. The advisory group will include community members as well as faculty, staff and students and will provide an analysis of Colorado State, as well as best practices in alcohol abuse education, intervention and treatment at other institutions around the nation.
"There is no simple answer, and there are many programs and activities that we already do very well at Colorado State to educate and inform our students about the dangers of alcohol abuse," said Linda Kuk, vice president for student affairs. "However, in light of recent events, and as part of our strong commitment to student safety, we will look to this task force to help us evaluate our current efforts, compare them to best practices and ensure that our efforts and actions are effective."
Kuk said that dealing with the issue of alcohol abuse among the overall student population, as well as in the Greek System, is an ongoing issue and problem at universities across the nation, including Colorado State.
In the past two years, Colorado State’s innovative Day IV program – the nation’s first collegiate drug and alcohol court designed to reduce high risk drinking behavior and reduce recurring substance abuse – has produced a 70 percent success rate in working with more than 80 students who otherwise would have been removed from the university. The program involves a system of intense monitoring and supervision. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals and a coalition of leaders in higher education were on campus last week learning about Day IV and hope to launch a national program based on Colorado State’s successful model.