Cal Poly has suspended the fraternity targeted in an attempted armed robbery last summer for violating student conduct policies, after the university determined chapter members knew illegal drugs were sold at the house and failed to take action.
The campus chapter of Delta Sigma Phi has been suspended for a minimum of five years for violating the university’s student code of conduct and its fraternity and sorority life alcohol and drugs policy, as well as other conduct policies.
The suspension is the second the university has issued this year to a fraternity, following the disaffiliation with Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) for six years in January.
The university suspended PIKE over an allegation of a sexual assault and violations to Cal Poly’s party registration policies, including hosting a Halloween party attended by more than 400 people that resulted in multiple noise complaints and an allegation of a sexual assault.
The Delta Sigma Phi house at 244 California Blvd. was the target of an attempted robbery on Aug. 10 allegedly committed by a group of Cal Poly football players believed to be looking for drugs.
In February, former fraternity president, Gear Thomas McMillan, 22, pleaded no contest to a felony count of possessing marijuana for sale. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a felony charge of possessing a controlled substance — unidentified prescription pills — for sale.
Though McMillan was not home at the time of the attempted robbery, some players and other witnesses later told investigators that drugs were the target.
On Wednesday, fraternity president Derek Morefield said in an email “we are extremely disappointed and frustrated” with the suspension.
“The university decided to withdraw recognition of our chapter until 2020 based on loose information that points to limited, individual misconduct,” Morefield wrote. “The university decision was based on a flawed investigation and not supported by clear, factual evidence. The chapter plans to appeal the action.”
Cal Poly began an investigation, after receiving information from law enforcement officials, that Delta Sigma Phi “facilitated the distribution and selling of illegal drugs between February and September 2014.”
A hearing was held May 8, and university officials concluded that chapter members knew about the illegal activity and took no action.
The fraternity violated six codes relating to the California Code of Regulations governing student conduct, according to a statement released by the university.
“The university is committed to supporting organizations that promote healthy and safe experiences for our students,” said Cal Poly Dean of Students Jean DeCosta.
“It is clear from our investigation that Delta Sigma Phi was not acting in accordance with these values, and their own stated values. Therefore, we made a decision to disaffiliate with them, allowing for a length time for the chapter to engage in a substantive culture change.”
DeCosta handed down the decision Tuesday. Cal Poly Vice President Keith Humphrey will consider any appeal of the dean’s decision and render a final ruling.
If the decision remains in place, the chapter may reapply for recognition by the university after June 30, 2020, or after all current members have graduated.