DAHLONEGA, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A University of North Georgia fraternity has been banned after one of its members was hospitalized from drinking too much alcohol.
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at UNG has been suspended by both its fraternal organization and the university.
At the University of North Georgia sorority and fraternity members meet on a regular basis on campus at places like Hoag Student Center and Young Hall.
There are no traditional homes on a so-called Greek Row, where members would live.
Numerous published reports and accounts from students who spoke to us off camera say a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was hospitalized as a result of an off-campus incident where alcohol was involved.
The word has spread around the UNG campus according to history professor David Connelly.
“Just simply that there was underage drinking and they’ve shut down one of the fraternities,” said Connelly.
The Illinois-based Sigma Alpha Epsilon told FOX 5 News “All of the collegiate members have been suspended indefinitely from the Fraternity. The chapter will remain closed for no less than four years or until the last current members have graduated or left the institution”
“I think that if the punishment was fitting of what they did then that’s fine with me,” said UNG student Jacob Collins.
A UNG spokesperson said UNG moved to shutter SAE after a joint investigation with its national organization.
In a statement UNG said “The suspension was taken in coordination with UNG, which has also suspended the student organization. UNG is consistently cited as one of the safest campus communities in Georgia, and we take seriously any behavior that threatens the safety of our students.”
UNG student Luke Anderson was wondering if the punishment might spell doom for the SAE chapter in Dahlonega.
“It seems a little harsh to suspend for four heats because essentially the whole fraternity could die here on campus you know,” said Anderson.
UNG is a dry campus, no alcohol allowed, which for many signals a yellow flag of caution off-campus activities like the kind which got SAE suspended.
“You would have thought cooler heads would have prevailed and someone said hey guys we need to watch our step here,” said UNG history professor, said Connelly.