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Miami's Phi Delta Theta chapter receives sanctions

By Sam Kay
On October 24, 2011

The Alpha chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity has received sanctions from Miami University and its national organization. The Franklin County, Ind. Sherriff arrested about a dozen members of the organization in the early morning of Sept. 11 near Brookville, Ind. Most charges were related to underage drinking. The chapter self-reported the incident to the university and their national organization, according to Jacob Kingdon, Phi Delta Theta director of chapter services and a member of the Alpha chapter's advisory board.

"The chapter came to us immediately after the incident and worked with both us and the university on developing sanctions to hold themselves and their members accountable," Kingdon said.

The national organization placed the chapter on "province president probation" through this academic year, according to Kingdon. The chapter still has full voting rights and can recruit new members, but has to fulfill multiple conditions of the probation.

Miami is requiring the chapter to undergo alcohol education. At least 80 percent of the chapter's membership and 100 percent of new members must attend, according to Susan Vaughn, director of ethics and student conflict resolution. Vaughn said this is the minimum possible punishment for an organization's first offense involving alcohol.

Jennifer Levering, director of the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership, said this has been a learning experience for members of the fraternity.

"This was a situation that they could have prevented, but they did a good job handling it on the back end," Levering said.

Chapter President Patrick Burchell said the chapter has put individual members who were involved through a disciplinary process. They will have to do extra community service and maintain higher GPAs this semester, according to Burchell.

Burchell said the chapter wanted to rectify its errors.

"Basically, we wanted to make sure we're able to prevent an action like this in the future and hold ourselves accountable," Burchell said. "I hope that in the future, organizations will follow our example and work with the university in the event that they get in trouble."

By Sam Kay

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