From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday September 28th, three UM students were taken to Doctor’s Hospital for alcohol poisoning. All three had been served alcohol at the Sigma Chi fraternity house at 6100 San Amaro Dr.
Louis P.*, 18, was found at Stanford Residential College at 4:40 a.m. He was vomiting inside a trashcan. Paramedics responded and transported him to Doctor’s Hospital. According to the police report, Louis “drank several shots of vodka at the Sigma Chi Fraternity party.”
Marissa G.*, 18, was found at Hecht Residential College at 3:05 a.m. When the officer arrived, Marissa was sitting on the floor and vomiting in a trashcan. The report states that she was unable to stand but that she was conscious and breathing. Paramedics responded and transported her to Doctor’s Hospital. Marissa’a friends were present in the dorm room and stated on the police report that “they along with [Marissa] attended a campus fraternity party earlier in the evening with alcohol present.”
At 1 a.m. UMPD officer L.D. Bueno was “flagged down” in front of the Sigma Chi fraternity house. The officer was informed of “an unresponsive female in the rear of Sigma Chi.” The unresponsive female was later identified as 19-year-old Alyssa D.* Alyssa was found “laying on the ground unresponsive but breathing.” The report states that she was too intoxicated to answer the officer’s questions. Paramedics responded and transported her to Doctor’s Hospital.
According to Dean Lake and Priepke all parties hosted at designated fraternity houses must be registered through the Dean of Students Office. This means that attendees are IDed to ensure no underage drinking. There is a six drink maximum and no liquor is served. A graduate staff member is required to be on site to monitor events.
Sigma Chi has been under investigation before for throwing unregistered parties. On August 20, 2009 the fraternity was suspected of hosting an unregistered party. According to The Miami Hurricane, “an unregistered party would not be a violation of the fall recruitment period unless alcohol was involved.”
Sigma Chi brother Taylor Emmons was fatally struck when he walked in the path of a car on the southbound lane of San Amaro Drive. Coral Gables police think alcohol was a factor in the crash. Emmons was leaving an unregistered party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house.
“[Emmons] was a frat brother, and the party was not registered and it should have been registered,” Dean Lake explained in a September interview. “The death of a student is always serious but he left [the party] on his own and they found that the frat was not responsible for his death. He had been drinking and walked into the car’s path.”
According to the Sun Sentinel, Sigma Chi fraternity was suspended in September 1997 after violating the University of Miami’s beverage policy. In November 1996 two women said they were raped by two Sigma Chi fraternity brothers. Michael Schoeppner pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, the other charge against the other student was dropped. However, that investigation revealed violations of UM’s policy when it was found that minors were not being asked for identification, being served alcohol, and “acting as bartenders.”
January 2009, another fraternity at UM, Kappa Sigma was revoked for an unregistered party that occurred at the end of fall semester 2008. Dean Lake pointed out that the fraternity was pulled by the national organization and not the university.
It is unclear if legal or disciplinary action stemmed from the September 27th party. According to the Sigma Chi – Gamma Phi Chapter Facebook page the fraternity was under temporary suspension but not anymore:
Update: An email sent to Sigma Chi adviser Brandon Gross on Friday was not been returned immediately. On Tuesday November 5th he sent this reply:
The event was registered with the university as per policy. A full risk management plan was in place and the fraternity continues to work very closely with the Dean of Students Office to continue to improve risk management at all social events.
*The last names of the underage students were withheld.