University of Connecticut Statement
Aug. 28, 2014 - UPDATE:
Grand Consul Michael Greenberg responds to the actions of the University of Connecticut to suspend the Gamma Omega Chapter of Sigma Chi and deny the appeal submitted by the chapter leadership. Read the entire response here.
Aug. 12, 2014 - Original Release
The Sigma Chi International Fraternity is extremely disappointed in the decisions that several individuals of its Gamma Omega Chapter made to participate in the activities referenced by the University of Connecticut in connection to its recent decision to suspend the recognition of the chapter from its campus. These members’ actions run contrary to Sigma Chi’s values and the Fraternity does not support, condone or endorse participation by any member in activities such as have been described as a result of the investigation by the University of Connecticut. Additionally, we sincerely appreciate the diligence and effort the university showed in its review of the events which transpired.
Grand Consul (International President) Michael Greenberg, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1982, released a statement in which he stated:
“Sigma Chi is tackling the issue of hazing directly and we stand ready to enforce our zero-tolerance policy to any member or chapter who engages in such repugnant activity. However, while we find the nature of the activities to be morally irresponsible and generally reckless, we believe it is important to note that each individual in the chapter who engaged in the activities did so of their own free will and with full knowledge of what awaited them. Further, many of the individuals opted not to participate in parts of the activities in question and participation in the activities was by no means a condition for continued membership in, acceptance by, or promotion in Sigma Chi or its Gamma Omega Chapter. By its own definition, the University of Connecticut considers hazing as activities where participation is a precursor for some form of membership in an organization. In this particular case, we reject the notion that hazing was connected to this incident because the individuals who participated in the activities were already initiated and did so voluntarily, with no connection to their continued membership as a condition for participation.”
Executive Director Michael Church, ILLINOIS 2005, added,
“Sigma Chi International Fraternity has begun working with its chapter and alumni leadership to file an appeal on the grounds that the sanctions levied by the University of Connecticut were too severe given the nature of the circumstances which surrounded the activities. We will respectfully request the opportunity to work with the young men of our chapter and use this experience as a teachable moment for all parties involved. Sigma Chi’s educational and leadership programming has been developed and vetted by some of the brightest minds in the industry and has a demonstrated track record of success. We are confident that, if given the opportunity to teach our young men how to take ownership of their actions and use those lessons learned to inspire change in others, the chapter at the University of Connecticut and its members will become an exceptional example of the value that a Greek experience can bring to our communities.”
The Sigma Chi International Fraternity was founded in 1855 and has grown to include more than 250,000 living members. It has 243 undergraduate chapters throughout the United States and Canada with more than 15,000 undergraduate students among its membership. Sigma Chi aims to be the pre-eminent collegiate leadership institution – aligned, focused and living our core values and carries a mission to develop values-based leaders committed to the betterment of character, campus and community.