On Friday night, the Panhellenic Council at Rutgers released a statement on the Sigma Chi investigation, announcing that they will continue raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network while simultaneously cutting all ties to the fraternity.
The Panhellenic Council is a governing body that represents more than 1,000 female Rutgers students. The statement was agreed upon unanimously by the sorority presidents.
“We are not going to let the actions of Sigma Chi affect our dedication to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” the council wrote. “Despite our unanimous decision to no longer participate in Sigma Chi’s Derby Days, we have decided to continue our efforts to fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospital as a Panhellenic community without Sigma Chi.”
Over the last two years, Sigma Chi has raised more than $500,000 total for pediatric cancer research through "Derby Days" — the second largest philanthropic event at Rutgers. The event was initially slated for mid-November but was canceled after the fraternity was issued a Cease and Desist order from the University.
According to the Panhellenic Council's statement, all current or past affiliates of Sigma Chi are now banned from attending events hosted by the council or its individual chapters.
Furthermore, none of the Panhellenic sororities will recognize events — social or philanthropic — hosted by Sigma Chi.
“We will absolutely not tolerate any form of harassment, and if any occurs, we will go forward with taking further action to The Office of Student Conduct,” the council wrote.
The Panhellenic sororities are the first in the greek community to speak out about the investigation.
Earlier this week, University officials confirmed that the original disciplinary action against Sigma Chi was taken in response to an alleged infraction of University policy. For an organization as a whole to be held accountable for a violation, the student conduct handbook dictates that the action must have been carried out in one of seven ways.
These include scenarios where members or officers “permit, encourage, aid or assist in committing a violation,” and situations where members or officers <g><g>fail</g></g> to report information about the violation to appropriate University authorities, according to the Standards of Conduct.
In response to questions regarding Sigma Chi’s <g><g>off-campus</g></g> house, University spokesperson Neal Buccino said the residency has not been affected.
“The organization’s house is owned by Rutgers,” Buccino said in an email. “The cease and desist order does not pertain to the house.”
Kira Herzog is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is the news editor for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @kiraherzog1 for more.