Duke’s Delta Sigma Phi chapter officially closed

National organization ‘eager to work with the University’ for its return

After “risk management” problems, Duke’s chapter of Delta Sigma Phi is now officially closed. 

The fraternity unsuccessfully appealed the University’s move to shutter the chapter, according to Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost/vice president for student affairs. The chapter was officially closed this summer at both the University and its national headquarters, according to Phil Rodriguez, executive director of Delta Sigma Phi’s national organization. 

Earlier this year, Rodriguez wrote in an email to alumni of the Duke chapter that the school’s decision was based upon “reoccurring risk management incidents over the past 12 months.” Rodriguez did not respond to a question asking what these incidents were. 

As a result, DSig has lost its housing section on campus after being at Duke since 1920. Rodriguez hopes that it can one day return to the University. 

“Although we are disappointed in the outcome, the national headquarters, in collaboration with countless alumni of the chapter, are eager to work with the University for a future return to campus,” Rodriguez wrote in an email to The Chronicle. 

The appeals board overseeing the case didn’t find any “procedural errors or new information” that would have justified keeping the fraternity open, McMahon wrote in an email to The Chronicle. 

Rodriguez had previously told The Chronicle that Duke was working with the chapter and its national organization to implement an “advancement plan” that entailed improved risk management and training. But an “incident” in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 left Duke with “no additional choice but to recommend closure,” he wrote to alumni earlier this year. 

Rodriguez previously told The Chronicle that safety is important to the national organization. 

“When incidents occur, our number one priority is ensuring the safety of our brothers and working to mitigate any future issues by partnering with our alumni and university leaders," he wrote in an email to The Chronicle earlier this year. "Both our chapter leaders and the national organization are eager to share our vision on how we can work together to move our chapter forward with its nearly 100 year history at Duke."

Ben Leonard profile
Ben Leonard

Managing Editor 2018-19, 2019-2020 Features & Investigations Editor 

A member of the class of 2020 hailing from San Mateo, Calif., Ben is The Chronicle's Towerview Editor and Investigations Editor. Outside of the Chronicle, he is a public policy major working towards a journalism certificate, has interned at the Tampa Bay Times and NBC News and frequents Pitchforks. 


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