May 7, 2012

Visiting Student Committed Alleged Racial Crime, Fraternity Says in Statement

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Members of the Sigma Pi fraternity condemned the “assaultive behavior and racial innuendo” that allegedly occurred on the roof of their fraternity house early Sunday morning, in a statement released by the fraternity on Tuesday.

As the investigation continues into an incident in which a person or people allegedly hurled bottles and racial epithets at black students from the roof of the Sigma Pi fraternity house, the fraternity said that the attacker was not a brother of the house.

“Though the perpetrator was not a brother of our chapter, this unfortunate event took place on our premises and thus we hold the ultimate responsibility,” the statement said. “The entire brotherhood of Sigma Pi is shocked and embarrassed by this incident and we recognize [that] we are accountable. Behavior like this from anyone and in any form occurring on our premises is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the leadership and membership of our fraternity.”

Additionally, the person who committed the acts was a Sigma Pi brother visiting from another University, the fraternity’s president is quoted as saying in an email that was sent from Black Students United to community leaders and obtained by The Sun.

“I want to assure you that the person who committed the acts on Saturday night/Sunday morning was not a brother in our chapter. He is a Sigma Pi visiting from another university,” Zach Smith ’13, the fraternity’s president, said in the email.

The statement released by the fraternity says that the name of the perpetrator has been turned over to the police. Additionally, two members of Sigma Pi witnessed the alleged crime and have made voluntary statements to police.

Alumni of the Cornell chapter of Sigma Pi also issued a statement Tuesday afternoon in which they condemned the alleged harassment as “deeply disturbing and totally unacceptable,” pledging full cooperation in the investigation by police and the University.

“Whether committed by a brother, a friend or a guest, the alleged behaviors reflect poorly on our organization in an area where we have zero tolerance,” the statement said. “To the extent that Cornell Chapter brothers played a role in the events, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”

Original Author: Rebecca Harris