/Severe penalties for Sigma Chi after Derby Day debacle

Severe penalties for Sigma Chi after Derby Day debacle

Following an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations that were made during Sigma Chi’s Derby Days dance contest, the University of Mississippi has issued a number of sanctions to Sigma Chi. The fraternity will be on social probation for a year, which prohibits it from hosting any events. Sigma Chi is also prohibited from having a 2016 pledge class. Current fraternity members must take part in a community service event as well as a forum on sexual harassment, drug and alcohol. Clay Wooley of Sigma Chi stated that the fraternity intends to appeal the ruling. Wooley stated that the ruling was “kind of surprising” and “certainly disappointing.” “I was hoping to find something more restorative and less punitive.” Wooley stated that although the university confirmed that the Judicial Council had made its decision, it declined to comment further. “All parties have the right to appeal the decisions of the Judicial Council. The university could report the final outcome of the case once all appeals have been exhausted,” said the university in a statement. After a post by Abby Bruce on Facebook went viral, the Title IX investigation was launched. She described her feelings of anger and discomfort as she saw two Sigma Chi members ask inappropriate sexual questions to women taking part in the Derby Days dance competition. Title IX is a federal mandate that protects students from discrimination based on gender, including harassment. After the investigation is completed, the report is sent to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict resolution. This office assembles the judicial committee that makes the final decision. The Office of Student Affairs handles appeals. It is composed of university administrators who work directly with students. These sanctions are applicable to the entire fraternity. Although the fraternity did not choose to investigate the two students who made the comments, they can do so after the current investigation is over. “I want everyone understand that we must be punished for what we did, without question. Wooley stated that she is not trying to escape it. “I want it to be the right thing, because I’m trying forward to make positive changes. It’s over because it’s already been done.” Wooley stated that he felt the ruling focused too heavily on the punishment of the fraternity for past incidents without trying to address the issues that caused them. He stated that he wanted more community service and asked for smaller workshops to address these issues instead of the one forum on sexual assault and drugs. Wooley stated that this would allow for active participation and people to ask questions. According to Wooley, the appeal is due two weeks later. It will address these complaints and ask for a reduction in the social probation and penalties on next year’s pledge class. The ban on social functions was disconcerting because of the Derby Days incident, which inspired the Interfraternity Council’s to issue new party rules. Sigma Chi won’t be able implement these new party rules for the next year due to the current sanctions. Wooley isn’t the only student who wants to go on. Abby Bruce, who wrote the viral post, stated that she hopes the campus will address the issues raised in the Derby Days incident. Bruce stated that she wants positive, systematic reforms to make campus more inclusive. She is currently working with Wooley, four other students, to identify ways to connect different student groups on the Ole Miss campus. They met with representatives from the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement (Office of Student Affairs), and the Office of Violence Prevention (Office of Violence Prevention) to discuss their ideas. The Office of Student Affairs also asked fraternities and sororities members to reflect on how they run their social and philanthropic events. The Derby Days week competitions are at the top of this list. The Derby Days week is the annual philanthropic event of the fraternity. However, students feel that it requires sororities to compete with each other in order to raise money. Wooley stated that he and his fraternity members are open to making changes. Bruce stated, “I’m really encouraged.” Bruce said that he believes the university is moving in a positive direction. “Change is a slow process and cultural change can take a while, but it does not mean that it won’t happen.”_x000D