Lehigh's chapter of Sigma Chi was dissolved by the University Committee on Discipline effective Nov. 14 through May 31, 2020. On Oct. 13, the fraternity hosted a party in which two students were hospitalized for alcohol-related emergencies and another student was cited for underage drinking.

Sigma Chi fraternity loses university recognition


Lehigh’s chapter of Sigma Chi was dissolved by the University Committee on Discipline effective today through May 31, 2020, according to an email sent to all Lehigh chapter presidents by Ashley Baudouin, the director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs.

The decision follows an off-campus incident on Oct. 13 in which two students were hospitalized for alcohol-related emergencies and another student was cited for underage drinking. According to the Lehigh Greeks blog, none of the Sigma Chi members called for help when one of the students required medical assistance.

The chapter was placed on interim social suspension Nov. 1 pending the outcome of an investigation into these allegations. On Nov. 2, Sigma Chi was charged with four respect for community violations (organizational failure to seek medical attention, irresponsible distribution of alcohol, encouraging others and false information) and one respect for self violation (unauthorized consumption, distribution or possession of alcohol). The chapter accepted responsibility for all charges.

Following the investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations, the University Committee on Discipline met on Nov. 14 and decided to dissolve the Alpha Rho chapter of Sigma Chi.

The chapter had previously been placed on disciplinary deferred dissolution April 27 through Dec. 18 following three significant alcohol violations in one calendar year.

Sigma Chi will be eligible to return to Lehigh at the end of the dissolution period on May 31, 2020, provided the campus is open to expansion and is subject to recognition processes in place at that time. However, the chapter’s ability to return to campus could be jeopardized or delayed if fraternity members fail to comply with sanctions and operate as an underground or unrecognized organization.

“We recognize that losing a chapter certainly has an impact across our fraternity and sorority community, and that this feels like déjà vu following the loss of Kappa Sigma in July 2017,” Baudouin wrote in her email. “Please know that Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is committed to supporting Sigma Chi undergraduate members as they navigate this challenging transition so that they may enjoy a meaningful and worthwhile experience at Lehigh.”

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    • Fraternity Advisor on

      I certainly acknowledge donors, often white men, sometimes wield an inordinate amount of power. However, please don’t paint the entire Greek community with the broad brush that they only continue to exist with the protection of alumni donors.
      Speaking as an advisor to a fraternity at Lehigh, the majority of Greek students are engaged leaders who add value to the community. Their organizations are held to a high standard by student affairs professionals, a standard that isn’t applied to any other student organization, through the accreditation process. I encourage you to learn about the accreditation process (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/accreditation) and read the latest accreditation reports which highlight best practices and identify areas of improvement for each chapter (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/node/3067). There are certainly chapters that fall short of the University’s expectations and the student affairs staff first tries to work with the students and then will dissolve the chapter, as was the case here.

        • Amy Charles '89 on

          Except actually #allfrats. Fraternity Advisor, let’s play Lot here: can you name me one fraternity at Lehigh that hasn’t behaved badly? Biggest problems you find are dead batteries in fire extinguishers, propped doors, excessive extension-cord use, garbage left outside the dumpster, that kind of thing?

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