A report in the Nashville "Tennessean" newspaper says the MS Alpha chapter acted swiftly and decisively when they learned three of their members were involved in the James Meredith statue incident.Ole Miss Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter took same-day action to kick out freshmen members | The Tennessean | tennessean.com:
Based on this report It looks like the chapter did everything they could to take proper and timely action. The full investigation will still be needed, but lets hope the chapter itself is soon cleared from the cloud of suspicion and back in full operating order.
The president of the Mississippi Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon said the very day that chapter members knew the people responsible for the desecration of the James Meredith statue on campus were in their own midst, they voted to kick them out of the fraternity.
"I learned about their involvement on Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday night, the chapter had voted to expel all three, and we reported the information to the university and authorities," said SigEp president Jeremy Smith in written answers released by the fraternity's national headquarters
Smith, of St. Petersburg, Fla., said members of the brotherhood were "offended and outraged" at the knowledge that the three students who tied a noose around the neck of the Meredith statue and draped an old Georgia flag which features the confederate battle flag on it were SigEps.
"That three students who previously identified with our fraternity could do something like this has been a humbling experience," Smith said. "It has forced us to reconsider the process we use to evaluate new members and the assumption that this kind of behavior couldn’t occur in 2014."
On Friday, SigEp's national headquarters suspended the chapter indefinitely, citing a need to do a top-to-bottom review of the recruitment process in order to ensure that members who espouse racist beliefs would not be able to slip through the cracks and join the fraternity in the future.
The next step for Ole Miss' SigEps, Smith said, is to continue working with headquarters and local alumni to conduct a review of operations and current membership.
"We are committed to ensuring that when this chapter does resume operations, it does so with the confidence that every member will forward the legacies of great men like James Meredith," Smith said.
Smith said he and other members take the whole situation personally, but also see it as a mission.
"As chapter president, I hope to use this humbling moment and the national stage it has created to lead our chapter and this campus in an effort to ensure that nothing like this ever occurs again at the University of Mississippi," he said. "We have work to do as a chapter, as a Greek system, and as a university to prove to this community and the nation that things are different today at The University of Mississippi – and SigEp intends to make sure that happens."
While operations at the fraternity have shut down on campus, the students affiliated with the chapter can continue to study, eat, and live there, and all employees of the fraternity will remain there, SigEp officials said.
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