Update: The story has been updated to note the status of the SAM house and include statements from Central Student Government and the Interfraternity Council.
The University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu was suspended and permanently closed by the fraternity’s international board of directors following its participation in a January ski trip that resulted in property damages valued at more than $250,000.
In an e-mail to The Michigan Daily, SAM Executive Director Leland Manders wrote that residents currently living in the SAM house on Oxford Road will be forced to move out by May 3. He said he could not discuss future plans for the house.
Current University chapter members will be placed on alumni status as a result of the board’s vote. According to Manders, alumni status means that the members cannot affiliate with another chapter, do not have the rights associated with undergraduate membership and are ineligible for SAM scholarships.
A press release sent to The Michigan Daily from the fraternity’s national headquarters stated that the actions of the University chapter violated SAM’s values and standards of conduct.
According to the national office’s press release, senior members of the University’s SAM chapter refused to cooperate in the national office’s investigation of the incident, particularly by refusing to name the members involved in the ski trip and vandalism and the lack of action from bystanders in attempting to halt the vandalism.
“It is regrettable that these vandals, as well as the officers of the chapter decided that avoiding personal accountability and/or university sanctions took priority over the welfare of the entire chapter; their lack of cooperation led to the university’s withdrawal of recognition of the entire chapter for a four-year period,” the release read. “Sigma Alpha Mu worked in cooperation with university officials and regretfully agreed with their request to close the chapter.”
At the conclusion of the University’s judicial process in February, the University announced it would no longer recognize SAM as a campus organization. The University also requested that the national office revoke the chapter and take further sanctions.
Sigma Delta Tau, the sorority that accompanied SAM on the trip to Treetops Resort in Gaylord, was placed on a two-year disciplinary suspension by the University.
Four other Greek life chapters also faced sanctions for damages to the Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs during the same weekend, but the University’s disciplinary proceedings determined those damages were not intentional.
In the weeks following the incident, CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior; Interfraternity Council President Alex Krupiak, an LSA senior; and Panhellenic Association President Maddy Walsh, a Business junior, released a public apology on behalf of SAM and the other organizations involved.
Dishell said in a statement on behalf of CSG that the decision of SAM’s international board is an important step in ensuring justice for those involved in the incident.
“We commend the University for remaining proactive in its investigation and for holding the involved organizations accountable,” he wrote Tuesday. “We hope to continue working with the administration, and we look forward to achieving greater reparative progress in the weeks and months ahead.”
In a statement on behalf of IFC, Krupiak noted that the ski trip incidents were unfortunate and disappointing.
“Sigma Alpha Mu is not a fraternity recognized by IFC anymore as a result of the university’s ruling a few weeks ago,” he said. “We are confident that the Greek community will move forward from these events and will continue to have a positive impact on this campus.”
Daily Staff Reporter Allana Akhtar contributed reporting.