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Cal Poly suspends frat at center of drug dealing scandal

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Cal Poly just slapped the Delta Sigma Phi-Epsilon Rho fraternity chapter with a minimum five-year suspension for violating its student code of conduct, the Cal Poly Fraternity and Sorority Life Alcohol and Drugs Policy, and other policies.

They university publicly announced the decision on May 13.

The suspension comes after the university and local law enforcement investigated allegations that the chapter facilitated the sale of marijuana and prescription drugs between February and September of 2014. The allegations came to light after a Cal Poly student and former Delta Sigma Phi fraternity president Gear McMillan was arrested at the frat house, and subsequently charged with two felony counts of drug possession with intent to sell. In February, McMillan pleaded no contest to one felony charge, and had the other dropped as part of a plea deal.

McMillan’s arrest came hot on the heels of an Aug. 10 robbery at the fraternity’s off-campus house. Five football players were arrested in connection with the robbery.

A press release from the university said chapter members knew about the illegal activity and failed to stop it. The Dean of Student’s office held a hearing about the frat’s status on May 8, and informed members of the suspension on May 12.

“The university is committed to supporting organizations that promote healthy and safe experiences for our students,” Jean DeCosta, Cal Poly’s dean of students, said in a written statement. “It is clear from our investigation that Delta Sigma Phi was not acting in accordance with these values, and their own stated values. Therefore, we made a decision to disaffiliate with them, allowing for a length time for the chapter to engage in a substantive culture change.”

The chapter won’t be able to reapply to be recognized by the university until after June 30, 2020, or after all its current members have graduated. In the meantime, they are able to appeal the suspension to the university’s vice president of student affairs.

Yik Yak, an anonymous social media messaging app, was buzzing in the wake of announcement.

“This is the start of a fraternity and sorority-free campus,” one user wrote.

Others came out to the defense of the chapter, and Greek life in general.

“So what about the football player who robbed the house with guns/ what about the football team?” another user wrote. “Do they just get to have free range to do what they want, or is this [the] systematic destruction of Greek life?”

Chapter president and Cal Poly student Derek Morefield said the decision was based on a “flawed” investigation, and said the chapter plans to appeal the suspension.

 

Staff Writer Chris McGuinness can be reached at cmcguinness@newtimesslo.com.

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