The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Baylor suspends Sig Eps after Playboy spread

Baylor University has suspended Sigma Phi Epsilon after Playboy published a photo featuring some fraternity members in its October issue.

The notoriously conservative university took judicial action against the Texas Rho chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Tuesday, suspending the house from all activities, including recruitment, parties and Homecoming.

The photo, part of the magazine’s “The Girls of the Big 12” campus special, features a total of 50 Baylor students waving flags and pennants featuring the Baylor logo and crest, including fraternity members in Sigma Phi Epsilon T-shirts.

Larry Brumley, the official university spokesman, said the fraternity was suspended for the “unauthorized use of Baylor images” in the photo. Brumley also noted that the students’ actions were not “in keeping with the university’s Christian morals” as outlined in Baylor’s student handbook, although he maintains the infraction has no bearing on the suspension.

The fraternity has submitted an appeal currently pending before the Vice President of student affairs at Baylor. Fraternity members’ claims that they contacted Playboy a month ago to have the photo removed have been confirmed by Playboy, although the call was too little, too late.

According to Elizabeth Norris, senior director of public relations at Playboy Chicago, Sigma Phi Epsilon requested to have the photo removed after the magazine had already gone to print.

“We have such a large lead time on print that we couldn’t have pulled the picture that late,” Norris said. “But either way, they all signed releases.” It is Playboy policy to have all people featured in the magazine sign a release allowing his or her photo to be published.

Regardless, Baylor insists students were warned in the spring that anyone found in the pages of Playboy, nude or not, would face disciplinary action.

As far as Norris is concerned, that disciplinary action has already been dished out. Students told Norris the administration confiscated a snapshot of the spring shoot and subsequently punished all identifiable students last spring, making them complete a stipulated amount of community service hours and write a paper. No students involved, including any Sigma Phi Epsilon members, could be reached for comment, nor would anyone at Baylor confirm or deny the reports.

The October Playboy issue featuring the photo hit news stands Monday.

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