- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska-Lincoln on Thursday suspended a fraternity’s activities for alcohol and fire code violations and barred members from living in the chapter’s house.

Members of the Delta Eta chapter of Sigma Nu are now making other housing arrangements. The school said freshman members must reside at university residence halls.

Fire code violations forced inspectors to ban the 50 or so residents after firefighters responded to a call there on Sunday. Several bottles of alcohol found inside the house are also a violation of school policy, according to UNL spokesman Steve Smith.

University police officers were also looking into whether the fire alarm had been tampered with.

A haze and chemical smell throughout the house were caused by a hand-held fire extinguisher and household cleaning supplies in the basement, fire officials said.

“Frankly, the house was a mess,” said Juan Franco, the university’s vice chancellor for student affairs.

“We are disappointed in having to impose sanctions on this house. But it is the proper action,” Franco said in a news release Thursday.

The university investigation is continuing, and more sanctions could be imposed.

The national Sigma Nu executive director, Brad Beachem, said the fraternity suspended the local chapter’s activities pending an investigation.

“Sigma Nu Fraternity is deeply concerned by this situation and fully supports the actions taken by local officials to ensure the safety of the student residents,” Beachem said.

Franco said university administrators are working with the chapter’s alumni and advisory board and with Sigma Nu’s national office on steps the local chapter could take to be reinstated.

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