BGSU permanently expels Sigma Gamma Rho sorority

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The Greek Village at BGSU.

Andrew Bailey and Andrew Bailey

Latest Greek Life Organization expelled since Pi Kappa Alpha and the hazing death of Stone Foltz

UPDATE:

Sigma Gamma Rho filed an appeal of the sanction by the deadline of March 23 at 5 p.m., according to BGSU Media Strategist Michael Bratton.

According to the sanction letter, the appeal will be reviewed by Dean of Students Chris Bullins, who will make a final decision.

BG Falcon Media reached out to Nala Golphin, the former president of the Sigma Gamma Rho chapter at BGSU.

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BG Falcon Media then received a reply from someone with “Mrs. Golphin” in their email signature, saying “These allegations are false and you are not to contact my daughter any further.”

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The original story is as follows:

BGSU has permanently expelled Sigma Gamma Rho, a historically Black sorority, effective March 16, for severe hazing violations including six violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

BGSU sent out a press release on March 31 publicizing the expulsion. BG Falcon Media was not notified of any investigation or student conduct violations involving Sigma Gamma Rho prior to March 31.

The expulsion comes from five violations involving hazing and one involving “harm to others,” which were reported to BGSU in November 2021. BGSU then placed the sorority on interim suspension of recognition, according to a statement from BGSU’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Spokesperson Alex Solis.

According to Solis, during the suspension, a BGSU investigation found that Sigma Gamma Rho:

  • Performed hazing acts that jeopardized the health and safety of the campus community and caused substantial risk of serious physical harm to specific individuals.

  • Provided locations and atmospheres for high-risk drinking without appropriate monitoring.

  • Required potential members to purchase alcohol and marijuana and told the potential members to steal items if they could not afford them.

  • Physically struck potential members repeatedly in the face.

  • Required potential members to inflict harm on themselves until seriously bruised.

  • Required potential members to consume alcohol, causing one potential member to vomit

  • Took potential members cell phones and deleted evidence of harmful acts.

  • Threatened potential members if they reported concerning behavior and told potential members they would be “jumped” for doing so.

According to Solis’ statement, the violations occurred off-campus in fall 2020 and spring 2021.

These violations occurred prior to and during the semester of the Pi Kappa Alpha hazing incident which resulted in the death of BGSU student Stone Foltz. 

Hearings for Sigma Gamma Rho were held with the University Conduct Committee on Feb. 23 and March 10, 2022.

There was a “history of deception in this chapter, with many steps taken to actively hide the hazing and threats made to maintain the secrecy of the acts,” BGSU’s March 31 statement says.

Solis acknowledged the “seriousness and impact” of permanently expelling a historically Black sorority.

“However, after community reports in late 2021, a thorough and fair investigation, and careful consideration of the evidence presented during the conduct hearing, BGSU cannot and will not support any group that has caused a substantial risk of serious physical harm to members of the campus community from hazing,” the statement says.

The March 31 statement further states Sigma Gamma Rho “knowingly and intentionally engaged” in unsafe and illegal activities, despite “clearly communicated anti-hazing policies and education in place.”

Further detail on the outcome of the hearing can be found here. A sanction letter from BGSU Associate Dean of Students Jeremy Zilmer sent to the chapter president of Sigma Gamma Rho can be found here.

Sigma Gamma Rho’s expulsion is the latest development in a university-wide crackdown on hazing in BGSU Greek life.

On March 7, 2021, BGSU student Stone Foltz died in an off-campus hazing incident involving high amounts of liquor consumption in a short period of time during a ritual with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Two other fraternities, Delta Chi and Phi Delta Theta, were suspended at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester for alleged hazing incidents.

Delta Chi was previously suspended in the summer of 2021, and had their suspension extended to fall 2026.

Phi Delta Theta was suspended until fall 2024.

BG Falcon Media has reached out to BGSU Media Strategist, Michael Bratton, for further information. BG Falcon Media has also reached out to Nala Golphin, who was listed as the Sigma Gamma Rho contact on BGSU’s Presence page.

Sigma Gamma Rho’s Presence page is still active, but the contact has been changed to BGSU Fraternity and Sorority Life.

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This article will be updated as more information regarding the expulsion is released.