Cal Poly cuts ties with fraternity targeted in robbery

May 14, 2015
Gear McMillan

Gear McMillan

Cal Poly officials have cut ties with the fraternity targeted by members of the university’s football team who allegedly tried to hold up the frat house for drugs and cash. [Mustang News]

The university announced Wednesday that it is disaffiliating itself with Delta Sigma Phi. The fraternity cannot apply to regain recognition by Cal Poly until 2020, although it can appeal the university’s ruling.

Last August, police arrested five Cal Poly football players for robbing the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house on California Boulevard. A month later, officers arrested the fraternity’s former president, 22-year-old Gear McMillan, for selling drugs out of the house.

McMillan pleaded no contest in February to one count of possession of marijuana for sale.

A university investigation found that Delta Sigma Phi members had knowledge of drug sales taking place at the fraternity house between February and September of last year. Cal Poly released a statement saying the fraternity was not acting in accordance with university values.

Delta Sigma Phi’s national office released a statement saying the university conducted a flawed investigation and made a decision based on questionable information regarding the alleged misconduct of an individual. The fraternity says it will appeal Cal Poly’s ruling.

Pending the appeal, Delta Sigma Phi joins a list of five other Greek organizations that are currently barred by the university, according to the Cal Poly website. One fraternity on the list is Sigma Alpha Epsilon whose former member Carson Starkey died during a 2008 hazing event.

Earlier this year, Cal Poly announced it was disassociating with Pi Kappa Alpha for at least six years. A sexual assault allegedly occurred at the Pi Kappa Alpha house during a Halloween party last year.

The university recently reopened its investigation into the incident.

Another fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, is currently suspended and awaiting judicial hearing, according to the university website. The university is investigating a sexual assault alleged to have occurred at Alpha Gamma Rho’s house late last year.

Four of the five former football players arrested in the robbery attempt are awaiting court hearings. The fifth recently pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit grand theft and received three years of probation.

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It seems to me, that a fraternity house full of students allegedly selling drugs to other students would be considered a “substantial threat to the safety and well-being of other students” are they all suspended from school for a year like Marvin Abou?

Did ANY of them get expelled?

How about the athletes who robbed the fraternity at gunpoint? Did ANY of them get expelled?

Marvin Abou can’t just cry “Daddy!” and have all his problems taken care of.

Rather than punish the entire fraternity, I hold that the offending person be booted from Cal Poly, and forfeit all tuition paid. When enough rotten little frat boys get the axe, the others will get the message to quit being so fucking stupid, and actually strive to learn a thing or two in school.

What purpose do they serve?

This appears to be the actions of one man, why punish the whole group? Should the University “cut ties” with the entire football team because a few players thought it would be smart to hold some of their fellow students up at gun point. Cal Poly seems to be exercising way too much control and showing no respect or cooperation with it’s students. Why not work with the fraternity to help them make amends for whatever mistakes it appears were made, rather than just kicking them to the curb so they don’t have to hear from them anymore. Just don’t understand what lesson the University is trying to teach these students

Excellent point.

Impossible to argue that dealing marijuana is anything close to the offense of armed robbery.

The lesson – like that of the Duke Lacrosse situation – is understanding and compassion for “poor underprivileged minorities” and harsh punishment for “rich privileged white boys”.

I have a real problem with anyone, (individuals, police officers, DA, DOJ) deciding what laws to enforce. (re marijuana comment) I also agree that no group should be punished based on the conduct of a few and that a fair and impartial review of any violations be given to the frats.

Bingo, it’s called the Sharpton factor.

There are two reasons they might be very right in banning the fraternity.

First, it is unlikely that other members of the fraternity were unaware of the actions of “one man” — who may have had help from others too. While selling pot may not be as bad as armed robbery, it is not good or legal and other frat members should have either done something to end it or left the fraternity. Toleration of the “don’t rat out your brothers” mentality is what leads to toleration of police abuse, corruption in politics and other societal ills. (I wonder how many such people were in fraternities and sororities?)

Second, if this particular fraternity has a pattern of lower level problems (hazing, out-of-control parties, etc.), this indicates a lack of oversight by the national organization as well as any older members locally. If fraternity excesses are to be reined in, the punishments have to be severe enough to get the attention of those who can and should have such oversight.

Closing down the fraternity is not the same as expelling all the members from Cal Poly. This is an opportunity to let them know that bad actions have consequences without totally ruining their lives. Maybe it will get a few of them to mature more quickly and straighten out their life priorities.

Are you smoking Crack?

We can’t go a month without some Frat house party, rape, or debacle going in the Greek System…Greece is financially bankrupt…the Greek System is Morally Bankrupt.

Or a made up story about rolling stone magazine.

The fraternity is appealing the decision per the mustang daily. If they lose the appeal, and assuming the national chapter of the fraternity owns the house, I wonder if they will put the house up for sale or just take down the letters and rent it out to the same 50 kids who live there.

I’m not sure how the house is configured but the City requires a ‘High Occupancy Use Permit’ for residences that have more than 5 adults. Fraternities are exempt but if they lose their status as a fraternity they’ll have to come up with another plan.

The University should cut ties with all Frats!

The Drunk Culture is out of Control and it’s time for someone to be the adult in the room and tell the kids it’s not acceptable. But in a world where adults want to be friends with those they are to raise, rather than Adults that know better….this is what we have.

I agree Rich in MB. Fraternities used to be about community service and leadership. Now it’s about hazing, racist frat songs, destruction of property, sexual assaults, binge drinking and other disgusting behavior. Suspensions have not worked, double secret probations have not worked either. All the things I mention above haven’t resulted in the fraternities being shut down all together, so I wonder what it will take? Death? Dismemberment? It’s about time Universities everywhere put their foot down and ban these groups completely.

Maybe Poly was better in the past, but at the Univ. I attended 40 years ago, the same stuff happened then as happens now. There are small differences (drugs were less common in frats as was binge drinking) but hazing, racism, etc. was present then too. The reporting of sexual assaults has become better but I suspect that the frequency of them was similar. Back then, women who were drunk or who didn’t get violently assaulted generally kept quiet about the situation.

This is not to excuse what happens in some of these groups — it is just to point out that they were bad before too. We have a tendency to sugar-coat the past in light of contemporary problems.

I get what you are saying OnTheOtherHand. Just feeling like in the past young adults were more responsible and had some respect for a few things in life. Yes, the frat culture offers their members a few things like friendship, opportunities for community involvement, and leadership, but they end up being breeding grounds for really bad behavior that often leads to a diminishment of others’ rights. And that’s not ok. If you are part of a frat and your brothers act badly, it will reflect on you too.

Universities could put their foot down. They could also not accept donations from alumni who use it as a bribe to let greek life continue. Finding donors who were passionate about academics and not passionate about the frat culture would be really helpful. Getting female students to opt out of their parties would also be a start. Getting parents more involved would also help. I bet if half of the parents knew what they were paying for besides books, classes and tuition they would opt out of paying for a frat experience for their kid, too. There has to be a cultural shift, and Universities need to be serious about it. Cutting ties with this fraternity is a good start.

I am certain that some frats have issues. I don’t think you punish everyone, including those with no violations because of the ones that are problems. That is almost like saying that restaurants in Morro Bay shouldnt let anyone in because we have so many homeless people in MB and someone may be homeless and not pay after eating.

These people are all adults. If they commit crimes, punish them. I am not a big fan of Frats but you don’t punish everyone based on the conduct of a few.

In all sincerity are there any frats that are still associated with Poly?

In all sincerity are there any employers that would count being in a fraternity as an asset on the employment aplication?

Oh I see you ant to Cal Poly, nice but you were in a fraternity?


I am not a fan of fraternities (or sororities) but, to be fair, there are some that are not just party and screw places. Some are associated with specific fields of study (i.e. engineering) and their members behavior is no worse than the Poly population at large. They may even be better as public service projects are often part of the experience and such actions are not generally publicized outside a small circle.

Well they better start making some noise, or else the term “fraternity” is going to as much apreciated as rapist,drunkards and felons