A well-known fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) has been handed a 3-year suspension after a hazing incident that injured a student.
According to a report, undergraduate members of the Sigma Chi fraternity will not be allowed to stay in the chapter house until the suspension is lifted. Moreover, all members are prohibited from conducting meetings and activities related to the fraternity.
The school will offer other on-campus housing options for students who had initially planned to live in the fraternity house when in-person classes recommence this fall.
IWU stated that Sigma Chi will be allowed to return to campus in 2024, but recruitment of new members will not be allowed until the spring of 2025. Current members can return to the chapter house in 2026, provided they hire a live-in advisor.
The suspension stems from an April 10 incident involving a first-year member. The victim did not provide details of the incident, but it was reported that he needed to receive medical treatment before returning to class.
Sigma Chi Response
The international headquarters of Sigma Chi cooperated with IWU in its investigation. Group global president Steve Schuyler said the committee fully accepts the sanctions given to its IWU chapter.
“In this instance, however, our members’ actions and the severity of the circumstances made our decision for us. The Sigma Chi International Fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing,” he explained.
“It is only by closing the chapter that we will be able to one day reestablish an environment at Illinois Wesleyan University that supports its students and our future members,” he added.
Other Fraternity Incidents
In March, authorities began an investigation of an alleged fraternity hazing that killed a 20-year-old sophomore at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The victim died after attending an off-campus Phi Kappa Alpha party.
The University of North Carolina also suspended three fraternities linked to a drug bust. Federal prosecutors said the groups were responsible for supplying large quantities of illicit drugs on three college campuses.
A local fraternity at Virginia Commonwealth University has also been suspended after a 19-year-old freshman was found dead following a fraternity rush event that involved alcohol.
A police investigation revealed that the student was blindfolded and forced to drink alcohol, causing him to run into a tree and suffer injuries. His body was found lying face down by authorities.