By Dustin Steinhoff, Staff Writer
The Sigma Pi fraternity of University of Missouri-St. Louis is currently under investigation by Student Conduct & Community Standards for alleged violations of the Student Standard of Conduct which include alcohol possession and distribution, as well as damaging of campus property.
According to a letter that was sent to the Sigma Pi fraternity on January 18 from Curtis C. Coonrod, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students, the fraternity is under investigation for reported violations of the Student Conduct Code such as “alleged damage to university property, failure to comply with directives from university officials, and possession and distribution of alcoholic beverages.”
The fraternity was ordered to suspend all activities taking place at their fraternity house while the investigation is underway with Student Conduct & Community Standards.
Depending on the results of the investigation, the Sigma Pi fraternity could face disciplinary action if the reported allegations are deemed to be true. In addition to organizational discipline, individual members of Sigma Pi will be investigated to determine their roles in the reported violations.
Members of the fraternity were advised to fully cooperate with the university during the investigation and were warned that members that do not cooperate with the university or do not comply with these rules will be disciplined under the Student Standard of Conduct.
According to chapter 200 of the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations, sanctions may be imposed on any student or organization in violation of the Student Conduct Code. These sanctions range from a warning, probation, loss of privileges, or restitution to university housing suspension, university suspension, university housing expulsion, or university expulsion.
The investigation process is thorough so that UMSL services can adequately assess the various alleged violations and determine if the allegations are true and, if so, what disciplinary actions must be taken. According to Student Conduct Coordinator Kasey Fraser-Smith, the investigative process begins when a member of the campus community reports an alleged misconduct to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. A conduct officer reviews the report and decides if an investigation should take place. If it is determined that the report offers no basis for an investigation, the student conduct process comes to an end.
When an investigation is needed, the student or organization discusses the alleged misconducts with a conduct officer. Other parties that were involved in the incident and could potentially have relevant information meet with the conduct officer as well. After these meetings, if student or organization will be charged with a policy violation, they can either accept the proposed discipline or reject the action. If the discipline is accepted, the process is over. If the action is rejected, the Student Conduct Committee is convened to hear the case in order to determine if the student or organization is responsible for the Student Standard of Conduct violations. The decisions made by the Student Conduct Committee are based on the preordinance of evidence standard.
According to Fraser-Smith, during the 2016–2017 academic school year, 142 formal investigations of alleged student and organizational misconduct took place at UMSL.
The results of the Sigma Pi investigation are currently pending. When contacted for further information via email and Facebook Messenger, Sigma Pi did not respond. Multiple visits to the Sigma Pi chapter house located on 8224 Natural Bridge Road yielded no results as no one answered the door. However, the chapter house appears to still be in operation if the dozens of ping pong balls in the yard and operating string of lights across the roof of the porch are any indication.