UR Security officers found holiday decorations in the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity house on Dec. 31 that had been reported stolen, which some members of the community have blamed on the house.Over the month of Dec., holiday decorations were reportedly taken from 11 homes in the Brighton area. The total value of the property is estimated at $2,350. Wreaths, outdoor lights, candy canes, trees and lighted reindeer were all reported as stolen, yet it is unclear how much of the missing property was found inside the SAM house.Chairman of the Fraternity Presidents’ Council and member of SAM Alex Braveman, a junior, declined to comment on the investigation. Those found to be responsible will likely face disciplinary action. It is not yet known whether individual students or the fraternity as a whole will be held accountable. The stolen decorations were found in a common room of the house, making it unclear exactly who stole the items. “They’re just allegations at this point,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “I always worry about charges of this nature because they poorly represent the community here.” No arrests have been made yet and charges may not be pressed against any of the members of the fraternity. “I’m unaware of any residents who want to press charges,” Burns said. “If the incident warrants a judicial process the individual or the chapter may choose between an All-Campus Judicial Council hearing board or an Administrative Hearing Board,” Monica Miranda Smalls, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, said in a written response to inquiries about the incident. “The case is a rather important one,” Burns said, stressing the significance of fairness and promptness when dealing with a case of this magnitude. According to Burns, the fraternity’s hearing will be held in the coming weeks.Consequences will vary depending on whether responsibility is pinned on individual students or the fraternity as a whole. “There is a wide range of acceptable sanctions,” Burns said. Individual student sanctions range from probation to expulsions. If the fraternity as a whole is found to be guilty, however, disaffiliation from the University could be a possibility. Alternately, both individual students and the fraternity could be sanctioned, according to Smalls. There is also possible fallout between the university and the Rochester area. Many citizens are upset over the theft. UR alumni from the Brighton area were among those who reported stolen holiday decorations. According to Asbury, these alumni have been calling the university. “They feel betrayed by the students here,” she said. “For all the good that UR students do in the community and in academic achievements,” Asbury concluded, “to have a public event of this nature just undermines all of that.”Pisarski can be reached at apisarski@campustimes.org.



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