Fraternity Self-Suspends Social Activities with Alcohol Through February
EVANSTON, IL – In 2014, our Fraternity eliminated pledgeship and enacted the True Gentleman Experience, a new model for membership education. Prior to that decision, we adopted dozens of meaningful practices to promote a healthier and safer environment, including a Good Samaritan Policy. Yet, while we have experienced a reduction in health-and-safety issues, we are concerned by the tragedies on campuses during the past several months.
In a proactive effort, the Supreme Council has authorized a temporary suspension of chapter and colony social activities with events that include alcohol. This moratorium allows the organization to pause and gather both research and feedback that will help us move forward and reaffirm our support of other Greek-letter organizations.
The temporary suspension period begins on Monday, December 4, 2017, and will end on Monday, February 28, 2018. We continue to encourage our groups and their members to sponsor substance-free social activities during that timeframe. While we know our members will comply with the regulation, please understand that this temporary suspension falls under our health-and-safety guidelines, as outlined in Minerva’s Shield, and that any violation may result in serious disciplinary action.
During the next few months, we are offering opportunities for dialogue and input through a variety of sources from our undergraduate members, volunteers, alumni and key stakeholders to gain insight on these topics. The purpose of the moratorium is not the exclusive study of alcohol use or consumption. Instead, we are focusing on how we can enrich our environment, culture and leadership.
As we put the moratorium into effect, we also have started discussions with our Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
Our evaluation includes these additional opportunities:
- January 5, 2018: Eminent Archons will meet in Chicago as part of our annual presidents’ retreat, the Eminent Archon Institute. We highly encourage every Eminent Archon or a representative to attend. To register, CLICK HERE.
- January 2018: Fraternity Service Center staff will hold working sessions in Evanston and will engage in further outreach to our partner campuses and Greek-letter organizations.
- January 9, 2018: Province Archons, our district alumni volunteer presidents, will meet.
- January 2018: Sigma Alpha Epsilon will survey our students and alumni to gather ideas and suggestions, and our Undergraduate Advisory Committee will meet.
- January/February 2018: Internal and external constituent dialogues will take place.
- January 26, 2018: The Supreme Council, our board of directors, will meet to discuss initial findings.
- February 3, 2018: The True Gentleman Task Force will meet to review research.
- February 28, 2018: The initial recommendations will be made to the Supreme Council for improving the health & safety of our members and guests.
During this time, we encourage everyone to reflect upon health-and-safety practices. Furthermore, we welcome your thoughts, concerns, suggestions and questions. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity is to advance the highest standards of friendship, scholarship, leadership and service for our members throughout life.
Does this policy apply to alumni events?
If the event is hosted by alumni and is an alumni-only event, it may include alcohol. Students may be in attendance as long as health & safety policies are fully implemented and the number of members present comprises a 2-to-1 ratio of alumni to undergraduates.
What will happen at the expiration of the policy?
The Greek-letter world has experienced a number of challenges across the country in the past few months. Our suspension period is intended to serve as information-gathering, assessment and development phases — the result of which may include revised health & safety policies. At this time, no outcome has been determined; however, potential changes will be based on broad engagement of our collegiate and alumni members in addition to outside experts.
What is the goal of the temporary suspension?
We intend to focus on key questions related to environment, culture and leadership. We will seek understanding and pursue suggestions on how to improve our policies and programs to continue to improve the experience for our members and guests.
My chapter or colony has an event scheduled. What are our options?
The suspension does not prevent a chapter or colony from having an alcohol-free event. Keep in mind, a scheduled event may be rescheduled for a date after the expiration of the moratorium.
My chapter or colony has not had any health & safety issues. Does this moratorium still apply?
Yes. The moratorium is Realm-wide and applies to all collegiate groups where we operate. With the tragic deaths and serious injuries in other organizations, we felt a pause on events with alcohol would serve as a period to reflect, engage and assess our policies.
What should we do during this time?
Please review national, local and campus health & safety policies. Also consider how those measures can be enhanced to bolster our commitment to the well-being and fundamental values in our mission and creed. Members in our chapters and colonies should review any incidents that have taken place and determine how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. We highly encourage undergraduates to engage their alumni and volunteer leaders and advisers in these discussions.
What do we do with the information we gather or proposals that we have?
Please send them to FSC@sae.net.
What if my chapter or colony does not have a house?
The policy applies to all collegiate groups, regardless of whether or not they are housed. Similarly, alcohol is prohibited at any Fraternity event attended by collegiate members, no matter where the event takes place.
What would constitute a violation of the policy?
Our moratorium affects events with alcohol, not the private conduct of individual collegiate members. Please review Minerva’s Shield for information about our regulations regarding events.