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After the death of a student, SAE fraternity is suspended at UC-Irvine

The national headquarters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is in Evanston, Ill. (Teresa Crawford/AP)

The University of California at Irvine has suspended a fraternity after a student’s death at an off-campus home.

Noah Domingo, a first-year student studying biological sciences, died Saturday morning. Domingo had been initiated into the fraternity during the fall term, according to a spokesman for Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

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Police were called to a home near campus at 9:42 a.m. Saturday because of reports of an unresponsive man, according to Irvine police spokeswoman Kim Mohr. Police interviewed witnesses, but the investigation is preliminary, she said, and the coroner has not released a cause of death.

UC-Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman sent an email to campus Saturday saying that “our collective hearts are broken” and that university leaders had reached out to the family with condolences.

On Sunday evening, Edgar Dormitorio, the interim vice chancellor for student affairs, followed up with information about the university’s response, although he said details could not be shared because the investigation into the death was ongoing. The SAE chapter was placed on interim suspension, he wrote, meaning the fraternity was told to stop all activities pending the investigation by Irvine police and the university.

Dormitorio said officials would work closely with fraternities and sororities on campus to provide support and to “closely examine the larger context in which this tragedy occurred."

The university’s winter quarter began last week, university spokesman Tom Vasich said, and the first two weeks of each quarter typically have many Greek life activities.

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Members of the campus chapter of SAE did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the death, said the local chapter had promoted an invitation-only event Friday after rush week. The chapter’s Facebook page was blank Monday, with a black field behind the fraternity seal.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has suspended chapter operations during the review, according to the organization, and has directed the local chapter to cooperate fully with all investigations.

“We are heartbroken by the death of our UCI brother, Noah Domingo,” Mike Sophir, chief executive of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said in a written statement Monday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and we appreciate the support the university and its staff have provided to students in this difficult time.”

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