Fireworks fight leads to suspension of 2 Miami fraternities

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Two Miami University fraternities have received summary suspensions following an incident over the weekend.

Some members of the Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities reportedly lighted and fired fireworks at each other's houses Sunday morning.

A summary suspension is a temporary suspension issued pending a full investigation but following the presentation of enough evidence that the dean of students believes a suspension is merited.

Oxford police, assisted by Miami University police, issued a search warrant on the two fraternity houses Sunday morning, Aug. 19, following complaints. In addition to fresh and fired fireworks munitions, police report finding illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Late Tuesday, Aug. 21, the national headquarters of Phi Kappa Tau suspended the chapter pending the investigation. The national headquarters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon announced Aug. 22 that it suspended six local members "for failing to comply with risk-management regulations" and stated that its investigation is ongoing.

Miami is working with representatives of both national fraternities and supports the decision by the PKT national fraternity to suspend the chapter.

"Student organizations are expected to provide opportunities for the positive development of students in an educational and safe environment. Based on what we know at this time it appears that was not the case at Miami's Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter houses," said Barbara Jones, vice president for student affairs at Miami.

Miami's Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution has interviewed some of the fraternity members and with the dean of students will continue to investigate charges against the fraternity members. It is possible individuals as well as the organizations will receive sanctions.

University action will occur independently of possible criminal action taken by the Oxford police department.

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