UM fraternity shut down after video surfaces of frat chants about having sex with dead woman

A University of Miami fraternity was shuttered Friday after a video surfaced of an off-campus pool party that showed Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity members jumping up and down and chanting about having sex with a dead woman.

“It made my skin crawl. It was just awful,” said a UM sorority sister who did not attend the pool party, but her friends did and she was shown the video. The student asked her name not be used for her own protection.

The song, which is popular with fraternities across the country, includes sexually explicit and revolting lyrics about a woman who dies giving fellatio. The fraternity hosted the pool party, an event they call “Adult Swim,” after the adult-oriented cable channel by the same name. The party was at a home about 15 blocks west of the campus in Coral Gables.

A video obtained by the UM Hurricane, the student newspaper, shows fraternity brothers from Sigma Phi Epsilon chanting about having sex with a dead woman at a pool party they hosted. The UM chapter of the fraternity was shuttered late Friday afternoon.

Heather Matthews, a spokeswoman for the national headquarters for Sigma Phi Epsilon, said Monday her organization received information that students had violated policy and engaged in actions outside the boundaries of fraternity values.

“We expect SigEp chapters to provide their members and campus community a safe and supportive environment. That’s the cornerstone of a positive Fraternity and university experience, so we take that expectation seriously and hold our chapters to that standard,” the statement said.

She didn’t say exactly what policies or boundaries the fraternity brothers had violated or what values ​​they had deviated from.

UM spokeswoman Jacqueline Menendez declined to say whether the pool-party video led to the fraternity being kicked off campus. She said UM had received a video that violated university policy but did not answer the Herald’s questions about the video.

Sigma Phi Epsilon has been at the university since 1949. An article in the Miami Herald archives reported the UM chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was shut down in 1993 for four years. Menendez said she couldn’t comment about what happened at that time because she said university records only go back to 1998.

‘A madhouse’: Neighbor calls cops

The pool party was the first major off-campus party put together by Sigma Phi Epsilon since the pandemic. The Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1 gathering was at a large, ranch-style home in the 7100 block of Southwest 62nd Street, not far from the UM campus.

An aerial view of the home in the 7100 block of Southwest 62nd Street on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Miami, Fla.  The home is where the UM chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted a pool party on Oct. 1, after which a video surfaced showing frat brothers chanting about having sex with a dead woman.  The fraternity was shuttered Friday afternoon at UM.

An aerial view of the home in the 7100 block of Southwest 62nd Street on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Miami, Fla. The home is where the UM chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted a pool party on Oct. 1, after which a video surfaced showing frat brothers chanting about having sex with a dead woman. The fraternity was shuttered Friday afternoon at UM.

It got rowdy quickly and a neighbor, Garrett Flake, called the police. He lives across the street from the house on the corner, which sits on a large lot and has a swimming pool and basketball court in the backyard. No one answered the door at the house on Monday.

“I called the law and said ‘Y’all need to come and shut this thing down because it’s a madhouse,’” Flake said. “Girls were urinating in people’s yards, the music was really loud, cars were blocking the street.”

Multiple cars are usually coming and going from the house, Flake said. He believes the house was sold to an investor who rents it out to UM students. Miami-Dade County property records show the house is owned by a Wyoming holding company.

In the video, the fraternity brothers, who hosted the party, sang a sexually explicit song about a woman dying while giving fellatio: “We dig her up every now and then, yo-ho, yo-ho. We dig her up every now and then. We f—– her once we’ll f— her again.”

At least one version of the song includes frat boys having sex with a woman and her dying while giving fellatio, then digging up her body and committing necrophilia, or having sex with a corpse.

The student newspaper at UM, The Miami Hurricane, first reported the news Sunday. In its story, the paper quoted a girl who attended the party, as saying she noticed a white substance in their drinks and that girls there suspected they were being drugged.

None of the girls in the Hurricane story said they believed they had been sexually abused and both Coral Gables and University of Miami police said they were aware of the story, but had not been contacted by anyone about any possible misconduct as of Monday afternoon.

‘We moved very swiftly’

The video circulating around campus shows a group of men holding cans and partying at the backyard of a house, with two giant inflatable slides and bounce houses, and an Adult Swim black sign in the background. One fraternity member screams that they own the school.

Menendez said the university received a video Friday morning and immediately issued a disciplinary order for the local fraternity chapter to stop operating. It also forwarded the tape to the national headquarters of the fraternity, she said. The national headquarters suspended the chapter on Friday afternoon, Menendez said.

“We moved very swiftly. We got the video; we issued the cease operations order and then contacted the national organization — and they shut down the chapter,” Menendez said.

In a written statement, Patricia Whitely, UM’s senior vice president for student affairs who partly oversees Greek life at the largest private university in South Florida, said the fraternity chapter “violated university policy and participated in behavior that is inconsistent with the values ​​and expectations of the university community and their national fraternity.”

“We have partnered with Sigma Phi Epsilon for 73 years, and we support their decision to close the chapter effective immediately,” Whitely wrote.

Ethan Robbins, the president of the Interfraternity Council at UM, declined to comment Monday.

The reaction on campus Monday afternoon ranged from “disgusting” to “gross” to “that is SigEp’s notorious reputation,” according to a group of six sorority and fraternity members, who did not want to give their names for fear of reprisal. They were gathered at the Mary B. Merritt Panhellenic Building at UM’s Coral Gables campus, which is where most of UM’s Greek organizations are headquartered in offices; they do not have houses.

On the second floor, nobody answered a knock on Sigma Phi Epsilon’s red door.

The red door of the Sigma Phi Epsilon campus headquarters inside the Panhellenic Building at the University of Miami on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Coral Gables, Fla.

The red door of the Sigma Phi Epsilon campus headquarters inside the Panhellenic Building at the University of Miami on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Coral Gables, Fla.

Miami Herald staffers Monika Leal and Tess Riski contributed to this report.

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