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Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter banned from USC campus

March 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter was banned from the University of Southern California for violating school policies. The local chapter will lose its letters, its house and its charter. The fraternity chapter has been suspended for a minimum of five years. The action is meant to send a message about sexual misconduct, according to USC.

On USC's frat row, Greek names are boldly mounted on each house. Only one now is conspicuously blank.

The letters for Sigma Phi Epsilon have been removed. "SigEp," as it is called, has been expelled from its national organization and banned from the university.

The action comes following the national organization's review of reports about alleged sexual misconduct at the house. The dismissal has sent shock waves down the row.

Members of the banned house declined to be interviewed on camera, saying they did not want to agitate university officials.

About the alleged finding of misconduct, one fraternity member told Eyewitness News that the standard of proof is minimal, and that a panel found that it was "more likely than not" that an incident happened at a party at the house last year. He said no crime was alleged.

A captain with USC's campus security confirms to Eyewitness News that nothing happened requiring a police investigation.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon national board released a statement, saying in part: "When the cultural issues within a chapter conflict with our values and are too deeply rooted to effect change, we have no other option but to withdraw the chapter's charter."

Sig Ep says they remain proud of their academic record. A member says that the house had the highest GPA of 3.3 of all fraternity organizations last spring.

While other students say they are unaware of specific allegations, many sympathize with members of the banned house who no longer will have their support group.

Sig Ep members will be allowed to stay in the house until the end of the school year, when the house will be put up for lease.