National group suspends LSU Sigma Chi charter
BATON ROUGE - The international Sigma Chi fraternity suspended the charter of its LSU chapter Friday due to hazing and substance abuse uncovered after an investigation into the frat's activities.
The investigation began after an Oct. 17 incident involving drugs and hazing at the Gamma Iota chapter house, according to the international Sigma Chi organization. The organization said that they concluded the LSU chapter's members were "not living up to Sigma Chi’s high ideals."
LSU suspended the fraternity on Nov. 3, and said they supported international fraternity's decision to suspend its charter.
"LSU has a long standing relationship with Sigma Chi, and it's unfortunate that this is the end result, but we take any and all reports of incidents seriously and will not tolerate policy violations when it involves the health, safety and well-being of our students," said Kurt Keppler, LSU vice president for student life and enrollment.
Also on Oct. 17, a 21-year-old Sigma Chi member named Sawyer Reed died of a possible drug overdose at his home near campus. Reed's fraternity brothers told News 2 that while Reed had a "problem" his death was an unfortunate coincidence which had nothing to do with the incident at the chapter house. A toxicology screen as part of his autopsy is still ongoing according to the coroner's office, but the coroner confirmed that heroin was detected in Reed's bloodstream.
The international organization said the current Sigma Chi members at LSU were immediately changed to "alumni" status, which means any undergraduate activities must cease. They said the organization will look at reinstating the charter once all current members graduate, possibly in 2018.
The LSU chapter of Sigma Chi was chartered in 1925. The fraternity says the house has operated continuously since its founding on the LSU campus except for a fire in 1974.