Ole Miss Fraternity Closed After James Meredith Statue Incident

sigma phi epsilon ole miss

(Oxford, MS) The Ole Miss chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity will be permanently closed after a vote by the national board.

The chapter was suspended in late February after three members were suspected of putting a noose and a Georgia flag on the historic James Meredith statue.

Technically the statue was not vandalized and no charges have been pressed, but all three were removed from the fraternity.

Sigma Phi Epsilon said the closure was “not a result of any individual incident, but a response to newly discovered, ongoing behavior that includes incidents of hazing, underage drinking, alcohol abuse, and failure to comply with the university and fraternity’s codes of conduct.”

The fraternity did acknowledge that the incident involving the statue marked “the beginning of an intensified period of review.”

The identities of the students, other than they are from Georgia, have never been released.

The closure was announced by the Ole Miss officials. The statue incident was never mentioned.

“We are disappointed that a pattern of bad behavior and serious, inexcusable hazing occurred within the chapter,” UM Dean of Students Sparky Reardon said. “Periodic reports from and meetings with local alumni and national headquarters led us to believe that the chapter was improving.”

In February, Sigma Phi Epsilon CEO Brian Warren told us hazing did not appear to be involved.

“The fraternity was the first to find out, and they were the ones that brought the names forward,” said Warren. “I know the values when the fraternity is done right, when Sig Ep is done right. It is a very impressive thing. To see it like this, it’s hurtful.”

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed that these activities occurred, and we are committed to providing a safe, educational environment for all students,” said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs.

The university and fraternity are working together to consider when Sigma Phi Epsilon might return to campus.

32 comments

  • Chris Williams

    Well it’s about time Ole Miss decides take a stand for something on the GOOD side of history

    • ChrisWilliamsisanidiot

      All the good this frat has done over the years but one incident in your little, deluded mind and everybody is punished for the stupid actions of a few.
      What you don’t know, makes you who you are.
      Liberal idiocy at its finest.

      • George West III

        “Liberal Idiocy”?? Hardly. Everyone has the RIGHT to go to college without feeling threatened or intimidated by the frankly archaic and pathetic behaviour of some self-entitled frat boys. They need to learn that their actions have consequences and maybe they’ll think twice before making their sad little statements. Maybe you do, too.

      • ChrisWilliamsisanidiot

        Last I looked, Georgie, everyone does have that right. You and your grievance industry losers want to punish Everyone and take away rights of all for the stupid actions of a few. You are real racist and no amount of your whining will ever change that fact.
        Boo on you.

  • MikeBarret

    3 people do something very very stupid and now the whole frat is shut down. Way to react and teach young people about more zero tolerance policies. Some how everyone has a right to not be offended but I can’t seem to figure out which Amendment that was. What happens next month when 3 dummies who aren’t Greek litter the whole campus with condom wrappers, they going to ban romance?

    • Joe

      MikeBarret, you didn’t read the story. They were shut down after an investigation that included hazing, underage drinking, etc. Only a stupid person scanning the surface of the story believes its entirely related to just the one statue incident.

  • Daniel Redbury

    No you’re right, Mike Barret, it’s acceptable to CLEARLY depict racist and violent behaviour on a multi-racial campus… “everyone has a right to be offended”? Hardly, but everyone DOES have a right to be educated in an atmosphere which isn’t racially hostile and quite frankly, immature. Really rubbed your two brain cells together there, didn’t you. Geeeeeees.

    • MikeBarret

      I have three brain cells thanks. One is liberal one is conservative and the other one is still sane!

  • PB1966

    If three African American males came and destroyed that monument on Union, most of you Caucaisan people will be so upset. They disgraced Ole Nathan Bedford. The same man that started hate after slavery. You would take it out on every African American walking. Memphis and the Mid South will never come out of this type of thinking. The South has not changed…while the rest of the country has. Sad.

  • mr. matt

    PB1966 please do your reseach on forrest before you accuse him of starting hate after slavery, that was not what he stood for, that is an assuption of people that dont know thier history

  • ChrisWilliamsisaDoucheBag

    Chris Williams you and I need to go on a Hunting trip. Or hey we could go to a Race. You could be part of a Race Related incident.

    • Chris Williams

      Why would I go hunting with u?? Your aim is probably no better than your hero’s D I C K Cheney

  • Former ole miss mom

    I aplaudd the national chapter for having defined values and holding their members and chapters accountable. It is ansurb to thnk the university does not know hazing and underage drinking goes on at all the houses. I was apalled at the piles of beer cans outside the houses and the whole nature of secrecy and exclusion. The greek system breeds elitism peer pressure and alcoholism. Not what the fraternities espouse. So if one takes a stand against intolerance and bad behavior maybe the rest will follow. Ole Miss should expect more and inspect more then maybe sparky would know what is going on. Everyone else knows

  • ontherocks (@liquor_1)

    the statement from the national fraternity office cited many more reasons for closure than this noose incident. So the proclamation of innocence and “punishing the whole chapter” seems a bit far fetched.

  • James Falconer

    All those rotten fraternities should be closed. I went to that school and almost half of the students are in these Greek organizations. They do nothing but divide the student body, and serve no purpose whatsoever.

    • George West III

      Since you have even got the guts to use your own name, pretty obvious you’re just hot air, mate. go back to your frat house. child.

  • Samatha C.

    Those who even agree with what this Chris Williams guy is saying are just as ignorant and pathetic has he is. The south especially states such as Mississippi are stuck in the past. The era of white domaince is over, we are now in a time of equality. The rest of the nations frowns upon your ignorance it’s shows how uneducated you are.

  • Paula

    I find it truly funny and extremely ignorant you people think the rest of the world has sat all this! I have lived all over our country and the reason they are “past” all this is because they don’t have ignorant people thinking the whites owe them for something that happened years ago! Thinking they are the victims in society! I suppose u all hate Malcolm X for what he stood for as well? How bout u get your last butss off welfare,quit acting helpless, and so ssomething constructive instead of running your mouths! The blacks and white trash in the South are truly the most lazy Americansi have witnessed, I didn’t know prejudice until I loved here and realized how lazy A lot, not all but a lot of blcks truly are! Same goes for the white trash! Anyone who thinks they can’t or are jot capable of something will never amount to anything and I don’t feel sorry for you! For all u dumb people talking about reading this story and it was about hazing and drinking etc… Wake the Hell up, that’s college and any Frat there is basically! Its just college in general so to say its nothing to do about the statue is pure ignorance. Keep running your dumb mouths and pretending like u r smart! Do research, move around, look around, wake up and make the real lazy blacks, whites, and whoever else responsible and then the South can come out of the old times! Frankly I love the South and I say go Rebels! Tt offends you awe go learn some history! Keep it up Chris!

  • Hard Truths

    Sounds as though the national organization of SPE did the right thing.

    I hope the message of this sad outcome is spread far and wide to boozy frat boors everywhere.

  • Mike

    I am a Sig Ep alum, while I am disappointed that the chapter is closing, I am outraged that this chapter was involved in hazing which is absolutely dehumanizing to any one person victimized. Additionally alcohol abuse is inexcusable in a fraternal organization. I applaud National HQ for investigating and taking swift decisive action against this chapter for their blatent violation of university and fraternity guidelines. I only hope that other fraternities take note and learn from these senseless actions. On another note, fraternal organizations can be beneficial. They do good charity work and lifelong friendships are made.

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