Sigma Chi Chapter removed from house for Fall semester

Twice vandalized, Sigma Chi’s house remains deserted after the chapter was put on housing probation for the Fall 2022 semester due to violating the student integrity policy. Photo Credit: Andrew Benoit

 By: Albert Chang-Yoo

  As students moved back to campus, there was a notable absence on Greek Row. The University of Puget Sound put the Sigma Chi Fraternity on housing probation for the Fall 2022 semester. The decision was in response to an incident that occurred at Sigma Chi’s house, which was determined to be a break of the University’s student integrity policy.

  When asked to speak on rumors regarding the incident, President of the Interfraternal Council Rene Del Barco issued a statement saying, “rumors tend to spread on this campus quicker than the truth, especially when rumors feed into the stigmas people already hold.” Due to University rules, details of the incident which led to probation are confidential.

  Moe Stephens, Associate Dean of Students, said, “Fraternities and Sororities are held to a very high standard of conduct. They are founded upon values and principles that align with the mission of the University of Puget Sound. As such, they will be held accountable for any behavior that does not align with the values of either the institution or their own organization.”

  Sigma Chi is a national fraternal organization with over 244 chapters. The chapter at Puget Sound has 32 members. Members are staying in on-campus student housing for the semester and will be allowed access to their house in January.

  Grantland Unterseher, President of Sigma Chi, said, “I think the punishment the school gave was warranted,” and that he has “an open dialogue with rights and responsibilities, with the campus administration.” Unterseher wanted to preface that the incident was “not hazing-related.” He believes that “the school has every right and should be enforcing those rules equally amongst every other house. And I hope that the school takes every case seriously.” The University owns all Greek life houses. When an infraction of the student integrity code occurs, a review board is created consisting of a faculty member, staff member, and student.

  “When a report was filed, the situation was investigated by then Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Christy Fisher. It was determined there was sufficient information to move forward with a hearing, based on the evidence provided during the investigation,” Stephens said. According to Stephens, the rationale for the punishment’s severity was that Sigma Chi had already been on probation, “from a similar issue the previous fall. Given their chapter’s status, there were not too many other options for the hearing board to consider.”

  Over the summer, Sigma Chi experienced an unrelated incident involving the vandalism of their house. A cornhole set and some Sigma Chi signs were spray-painted. According to Unterseher, “in total there were five, four or five items that were vandalized and a grill that was stolen,” elaborating that he doesn’t “want to guess about who did it, but it felt like it was targeted.” There is no evidence that the event was connected to any individual motivation.

  Being put on housing probation has been a “wake-up call” according to Unterseher. “I think not just in Sig [Sigma Chi], but just the rest of the Greek community … It has made us think a lot more.” 

  Sigma Chi’s temporary housing ban is one of the more significant actions the University has taken against Greek Life in recent yearsUnterseher wanted the focus to be on Sigma Chi’s charitable efforts, such as an upcoming fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer Institute: “It’s giving us a lot of valuable reflection time and to like, refocus ourselves on what is really important to us– that being like philanthropy and community.”