The national board of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity has pulled the charter of its Utah State University chapter for "non-compliance."

Scott Alford, a spokesman for Sigma Phi Epsilon's national headquarters in Virginia, confirmed Friday that the charter had been withdrawn because the Utah organization had struggled to meet national standards, among them membership quotas.Earlier this year, a USU official reported to SPE national officials an alleged sexual assault that reportedly occurred in the fraternity house.

Alford said the decision to yank the charter "was an independent issue."

SPE is the the second USU fraternity in nine years whose charter has been pulled after allegations of a sexual assault in a fraternity house.

"It is a rare occurrence when we pull a charter. Unfortunately, it does happen," Alford said.

The SPE alumni organization owns the house, but the fraternity will not be able to occupy it until after the fall of 2002, when sanctions from headquarters expire.

"We have worked with the university to guarantee the chapter's return after the fall of 2002," Alford said.

USU and the fraternity's national headquarters share oversight duties over the fraternity's activities. The six fraternities and three sororities affiliated with USU receive a small amount of campus funding, said Tiffany Evans, USU's associate director of student activities.