Cal Poly has revoked its recognition of the local chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and requested that the national chapter of the organization dissolve the local fraternity chapter as well, the university announced Tuesday.
The move resulted from a campus investigation into allegations of sexual assault at a May 7 party that uncovered several alcohol-related violations by the chapter. The party took place at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on California Boulevard.
A Cal Poly student, Joseph Trupiano, was arrested by the San Luis Obispo Police Department on suspicion of rape, but he has not been charged by the county District Attorney’s Office, which continues to investigate the case.
But Cal Poly's decision about the fraternity specifically was made because of violations that included the fraternity providing alcohol to minors; serving alcohol at an open party with unrestricted access by nonmembers; and purchasing alcohol in bulk quantities.
The dissolution was made effective July 22, following a July 8 administrative meeting where the fraternity’s members were allowed to argue the merits of their organization’s continued affiliation with Cal Poly.
“During the course of our investigation, we found that this fraternity had played a significant positive role in its members’ university experiences and that the chapter as a whole had a history of high academic achievement and participation in philanthropic activities,” said Stephan Lamb, Cal Poly’s director of Student Life and Leadership, in a statement. “Nevertheless, alcohol-related violations such as those we discovered cannot be taken lightly. We were simply left with no choice but to sever our ties with the organization based on what we’d found.”
The chapter appealed the finding to Cornel Morton, the university’s vice president for Student Affairs, who upheld the revocation Tuesday.
The national Sigma Phi Epsilon headquarters may submit a request for re-establishment of a chapter at Cal Poly no sooner than June 30, 2017.