Jan. 17, 2007
CONTACT: Dr. Bob Glenn, 615-898-2440
Tom Tozer, 615-898-291
MURFREESBORO—The High Council of Sigma Nu Fraternity has voted to revoke the charter of Theta Iota Chapter at Middle Tennessee State University following an investigation in December of alleged violations of the organization’s laws and policies. The infractions are related to allegations of hazing that Sigma Nu’s High Council claim occurred and remained undetected for the past three years.
Dr. Bob Glenn, MTSU vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment Management, stated that while the university in no way condones hazing activities of any kind in its Greek organizations, the university believes that revoking the chapter’s charter is too severe a step in this case. Part of this stance by the university, Glenn says, is due to the fact that he has received no details of the charges prior to the action of the High Council, only a notice that a complaint has been lodged against the chapter.
“We received a complaint but our internal investigation did not turn up sufficient evidence to support the allegation,” Glenn noted. “This typically is a chapter near the top in grades, student leadership, and it has been the recipient of the Rock Award, which is the organization’s top chapter award,” he emphasized. “Nothing was ever reported to us—nothing was there to give us a clue.”
Regarding the hazing charges, Glenn said he’s been led to believe that there was a small core of members involved in the hazing but that the chapter covered up the behavior of those few.
“We agree that hazing should be punished. However, it’s hard for us to determine at what level punishment should be when we haven’t been given anything from the national office. There is nothing in writing.”
Glenn added, “We’re disappointed with the decision, especially because we thought we were in partnership with the local alumni, the membership and the national office. We don’t think the national office is acting in a way that is consistent with a true partnership.”
In addition to the charter revocation itself, there is the matter of a Greek house carrying a mortgage. Glenn said the chapter has been easy to work with in regards to payment responsibilities. Members typically have been strong campus leaders as well. Glenn said the university will work hard to try to keep the house open and occupied.
“The chapter is fighting the decision, and we support the chapter,” the vice president said. “They’re [the national office] going from not doing anything to revoking their charter in one step. We think it’s a bad idea. But we’re going into uncharted waters here,” he added.
Glenn said once the hazers are identified, they could face expulsion from the fraternity, university discipline, and perhaps even legal action since hazing is against the law.