The Beta-Eta Chapter of Sigma Phi Delta, the Social-Professional Engineering Fraternity at Stony Brook University, was placed on interim suspension on Sept. 16 after a student accused multiple members of the organization of sexual assault on social media.
In an Instagram post from Sept. 14, the student said that they were a victim of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from members of the Beta-Eta chapter during the 2021-2022 academic year. The student also said they interviewed another 40 students, who anonymously reported misbehavior from an additional six members. As of Sept. 17, the post has garnered 7,000 likes and over 480 comments.
The student then received and reposted replies through Instagram stories, with more students coming out about their experiences with the Chapter and its members.
As of press time, the student did not wish to provide The Statesman with a comment about their accusations.
One of the fraternity members, referred to in the initial post as “Test Subject 1,” denied the allegations in a post on Instagram. The member provided screenshots of text messages that he said prove that “these statements are far from the truth.” The statement was then reposted to Reddit.
“Like you, we are deeply disturbed by these allegations,” Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis said in an email sent to the student body. “The university has issued an interim suspension of the fraternity pending the outcome of the investigation, consistent with university policy.”
Eric J. Pew, the Grand President of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity, released a statement to The Statesman regarding the recent suspension.
“We will be working collaboratively and transparently with university officials and other Greek leadership,” the fraternity’s Supreme Council said. “As a fraternity, we reaffirm that sexual harassment, misconduct and assault of any person will not be tolerated by our members.”
The national organization has over 20 active chapters. Beta-Eta, Stony Brook University’s chapter of the Sigma Phi Delta fraternity, was founded in 2012.
News of the interim suspension comes two years after the Tau Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Beta Rho fraternities were suspended from campus after a series of social media posts accused the chapters of sexual assault. In light of the allegations, multiple Instagram pages were created to host posts from anonymous individuals retelling their experiences of sexaul assault involving Greek life in multiple universities and colleges, such as SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Geneseo.
As of the fall 2022 semester, Tau Kappa Epsilon and the Kappa Sigma fraternities have been active and are hosting general body meetings. All upcoming events planned by Sigma Phi Delta have been canceled.
Stony Brook University students are able to report incidents of sexual assault and Title IX incidents to the Office of Equity and Access and its assistant vice president Marjolie Leonard at [email protected]. Students can alternatively submit a Sexual Misconduct Initial Report online, or visit the Sexual Assault Nurse Exam (SANE) Center at the Stony Brook Emergency Room in the need of emergency medial services following an assault.
This is a breaking news story. The Statesman will be providing updates to the story as news unfolds.