Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Missouri has closed after the executive committee of Sigma Chi International Fraternity voted to suspend the MU chapter.

The action is immediate and for an indefinite time period, according to a news release from the fraternity headquarters.

The news release wasn't specific about what actions resulted in the vote to close the chapter.

"The international fraternity, in collaboration with the university and the chapter's alumni advisors, made the decision due to continued accountability and conduct issues within the chapter's membership," the news release reads. "The undergraduate members' actions were inconsistent with the fraternity and the (executive committee) was left with no other option than to suspend the chapter's charter."

"One of the most difficult things the executive committee can do is vote to close a chapter," international fraternity President Steve Schuyler said in the news release. "In this instance, however, our members' actions and their disregard for the fraternity's policies and procedures made our decision for us."

The university is supportive of the decision of the fraternity headquarters to close the chapter, said MU spokesman Christian Basi. He also declined to say what specific action may have lead to the closure.

University officials will work with fraternity officials so it can return to campus, possibly in two to four years, Basi said.

The suspension is the latest in a series of actions, most taken by national governing organizations, to suspend fraternities at MU. Sigma Chi became the seventh fraternity to be suspended or shut down in the past four years. One fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, was allowed to re-open its MU chapter this fall following a suspension for a September 2017 assault that left one student with a broken jaw and another needing dental work after being beaten near the fraternity house.

In April, the university implemented new rules governing Greek organizations intended to reduce discipline problems, which have mainly been associated with fraternities aligned with the Interfraternity Council. The rules set a higher standard for academic achievement for organizations that want to allow freshmen to live in chapter houses and require chapters to hire third-party alcohol vendors for social events in chapter houses, licensed security firms to monitor the events, registration of events and limits so parties last no longer than four hours and only occur Thursday through Sunday.

The Greek experience at MU continues to be significant  for students who participate and meet expectations of good behavior, Basi said.

"This is a very important part of our campus and our student experience," Basi said.

Online records on the MU website show Sigma Chi was placed on disciplinary probation until Dec. 1, 2021, and required to participate in the headquarters' restorative justice program. The chapter's approval as a recognized student organization also was subject to withdrawal at that time, but stayed on the condition it completed the other sanctions. The status was to continue until Sept. 6, 2019.

Violations that resulted in the discipline include forgery, alteration or misuse of university documents or knowingly furnishing false information to the university; hazing; and obstruction or distribution of teaching research, administrations or conduct proceedings. Those incidents occurred in fall 2018.

Other violations, including manufacture, use, possession or sale of alcohol or drugs, occurred in April 2017. There also was a violation in May 2016

rmckinney@columbiatribune.com