UPDATE: Drug, alcohol, stolen property violations led to suspension of Sigma Chi


UK’s Sigma Chi fraternity was suspended for a year after a university investigation found the chapter violated university policy. The fraternity house is located on the corner of Columbia and Pennsylvania Ave. on UK’s campus in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Rick Childress

UK’s Sigma Chi fraternity was suspended for violating the university’s drug, alcohol and property policies, according to a letter released by UK on Tuesday which details the incidents that got the fraternity suspended.

The fraternity was suspended for a year after a university investigation found that the chapter violated multiple UK policies, a university spokesperson stated on Monday.

According to the letter, the president of Sigma Chi formally accepted responsibility on behalf of the chapter in late May for two separate incidents where members allegedly broke from university policy. The acceptance of those allegations led to the fraternity’s suspension over this past weekend.

In one case, members of a pledge class allegedly used marijuana and alcohol and stole property off the street. It’s not clear where and when these incidents occurred as the letter does not provide that information. The fraternity claimed responsibility for drug, alcohol and an unapproved possession of property violation.

In the other case, Sigma Chi posted a picture to social media depicting a member of the fraternity holding a bottle of alcohol at a Keeneland tailgate. According to the letter, the fraternity did not properly register for the event, so the use of alcohol was likely a violation of UK policy.

A member of the fraternity explained, in the letter, that the tailgate event was planned too quickly, preventing the fraternity from following university policies for registration of an event with alcohol. It is also not clear when the tailgate at Keeneland occurred.

The Office of Student Conduct recommended a restorative action plan for the fraternity, but Sigma Chi refused to accept the plan. 

“After an investigation that included cooperation from the international organization and the local chapter, the chapter accepted responsibility and the University of Kentucky’s Hearing Board has placed them on a one-year suspension effective immediately,” UK spokesperson Jay Blanton wrote in an email on Monday.

According to the UK Interfraternity Council’s recruitment booklet, Sigma Chi had 100 members this year. The fraternity’s house is listed at 447 Pennsylvania Avenue and sits on the corner of Pennsylvania and Columbia Avenue across the street from the William T. Young Library’s northside parking lots.

The chapter was previously put on disciplinary probation at the beginning of the spring 2016 semester until the fall 2017 semester for alcohol and hazing violations, UK’s Office of Student Conduct website shows. It is unclear if those violations are related.