Beta booted: Alpha chapter disbanded
By Mekenna Sandstrom For The Miami Student
The Beta Theta Pi Fraternity (Beta) closed its Alpha chapter at Miami University Friday.
A statement by Beta's national organization said the decision came after several instances of unacceptable conduct in recent years.
"The chapter experienced varying degrees of discipline the last several years for unacceptable conduct," the statement read, "but recent hazing allegations and violations of prior sanctions related to alcohol were verified during parallel investigations by the university and General Fraternity."
Dean of Students Mike Curme met with Beta President Nathan Callender Feb. 21 for a preliminary disciplinary hearing to address two specific allegations of hazing. Members of the fraternity then attended a closed-door meeting last Thursday, the night before officially being disbanded.
"Accountability and personal responsibility are core values at Miami, especially for those who lead student organizations," Curme said in a university press release. "We expect our greek organizations to model these values and adopt the highest standards of leadership and behavior."
As a result of the chapter closing, all residents of the fraternity house on High Street are being evicted. All sophomore residents are now required to seek on-campus housing because of the university's two-year residency rule. Members are eligible to move back to campus starting at 5 p.m. tomorrow evening.
The university is currently assisting those members with housing and meal plans.
Miami University announced it fully supports Beta's decision, emphasizing its zero-tolerance policy for hazing and the importance of consistently educating students about personal safety and well-being.
Beta Administrative Secretary Jud Horras commented on the situation in Beta's official press release.
"The fraternity is governing itself in alignment with its values and standards as we seek to protect the well-being of every young man," Horras said. "Likewise, we will continue to do everything possible to support the undergraduate men and their parents during this stressful transition.
Callender declined to comment.
President of the Inter-fraternity Council (IFC) Sam Crockett said all governing councils were deeply saddened by the closing of Beta, but they would try to make this into a learning experience for the entire fraternity community.
"Losing a chapter is something we never like to see, but especially an Alpha chapter," Crockett said. "We'll try and make this into a learning experience as best we can. We're going to have a conversation with the chapter presidents Tuesday to let them know the details of what happened [with Beta] and how to prevent it from happening again. As a community, we promote self-governance and we hold high our ability to hold each other accountable."
The chapter included 112 undergraduates when the disbanding was announced.
The international fraternity has agreed with the university to return and rebuild the Alpha chapter during the 2016-17 school year.
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