Historic Fraternity Canned For Bad Behavior

The Sigma Chi fraternity house on Miami University’s campus in Oxford, Ohio, pictured here in 2010.

The Miami University chapter of Sigma Chi International – a fraternity founded at Miami in 1855 – was so out of control, it couldn’t be saved, documents show.

The local chapter in recent years had repeatedly engaged in hazing – initiation rites involving harassment, abuse or humiliation, officials said. Some members also repeatedly used illegal drugs, got into trouble with excessive alcohol consumption, and were “fostering a thirst to create and cause physical and mental harm to others,” the fraternity’s headquarters said in a letter to Miami administrators.

Sigma Chi International Fraternity representatives met last week with members of Miami’s chapter to inform them that the fraternity’s executive committee had voted to suspend the chapter’s charter; reinstatement could be possible in a few years, officials said.

The 29 members living in the Sycamore Street chapter house were to be evicted by Wednesday; university housing was being offered to those students.

In an April 4 letter to Miami officials, Michael A. Greenberg, grand pro consul of the international fraternity, expressed regret that “we have been unable to successfully save our chapter at your institution.”

“The so-called members of our Order at Sigma Chi’s chapter at Miami University have lost their way in aligning their lives toward, and living up to, our values and ideals,” Greenberg’s letter says. Sanctions were being imposed because of the Miami group’s “clear and blatant disregard for authority and anyone who is not a member of Sigma Chi’s Alpha Chapter,” he wrote.

In an emailed response to a reporter Monday, Greenberg said he was traveling and would likely be unable to answer detailed questions about the letter until Tuesday.

His letter gives no specifics about the alleged hazing and also doesn’t indicate whether alleged “illegal and continual drug usage and the possible distribution of drugs from the chapter house” was reported to police; Oxford police officials could not immediately be reached Monday.

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