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Fraternity brownstones line West 114th Street. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which did not have a house, lost its provisional charter last spring after University policy violations.

Updated, 2 p.m., Dec. 14

A national Sigma Alpha Epsilon spokesperson told Spectator that Columbia's colony was closed in the spring of 2013 after violations of University policy.

“We closed the colony at Columbia University for failing to maintain the stringent standards, expectations and principles of Sigma Alpha Epsilon,” Brandon Weghorst, a national SAE spokersperson, told Spectator in an email. 

Columbia's SAE, which came to Columbia in May 2012, was classified as a colony and was working toward obtaining a charter from the national organization.

“Once we close a colony, the group disbands and is not permitted to use the Sigma Alpha Epsilon brand or insignia,” Weghorst added.

A Student Affairs spokesperson confirmed to Spectator that the fraternity lost its provisional recognition in the spring after “multiple violations.”

The spokesperson declined to comment further on the fraternity's decolonization.

The news was first reported by The Lion, which quoted a former SAE member who said the charter was suspended after a pledge was taken to the hospital for excessive alcohol consumption following a pregame.

A Bwog article Friday quoted anonymous former fraternity members who said brothers called in to speak with Scott Helfrich, associate director of residential programs, and testify before the Office of Judicial Affairs—instead of the Greek Judicial Board.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters at other Ivy League schools have been embroiled in controversy in recent years. A 2012 Rolling Stone article detailed egregious hazing violations at the fraternity's Dartmouth chapter. The same year, another SAE brother at Cornell died during a hazing ritual, the New York Times reported.

The loss comes on the heels of Zeta Beta Tau's decision this fall to suspend its national charter until 2015 after a hazing incident last fall.

Check back for updates.

Christian Zhang contributed reporting.  |  @sammcooney

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