Beta's fate still up for debate
By Mekenna Sandstrom and Katie taylor for the miami student Beta Theta Pi (Beta) took part in a closed-door meeting last night regarding its status and future on Miami's campus, according to chapter president Nathan Callender. Prior to the meeting, he said he would not be present and did not know what would be discussed. When contacted following the meeting, Beta Treasurer Mark Cialone abruptly declined to comment. No other members of Beta could be reached for comment. Callender was called in for a preliminary hearing Feb. 21 following hazing allegations. Brothers gathered in support outside as he spoke with Dean of Students Mike Curme, who said his task was to determine whether the organization posed an immediate threat to themselves or others. "As of right now, the university fully recognizes Beta Theta Pi as an operating organization," Callender said following the Feb. 21 meeting. "However, our national fraternity has mandated a cease and desist operations that the university is in compliance with." The Beta Theta Pi national fraternity website listed the Miami University chapter as, "Subject to Suspension," as of last night. It has not been announced when there will be final word on the status of the chapter. "I don't know the timeline, but I know that it's going to be pretty expedient because the university wants to get this stuff done," Callender said. "They have other cases to investigate, so within the next week or two I would imagine." This is not the first time the chapter has been suspended. According to an article from the Toledo Blade, Miami's chapter was suspended indefinitely by national headquarters in 1989 after hazing and the use of alcohol were reported at a pledge party. An opinion writer for the Miami Student noted their return in 1999. Currently, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) is continuing to stay uninvolved with the situation until a final decision is made by administration. Sam Crockett, president of IFC emphasized the matter is not in their hands, and the university and the national organization will be the ones to make the decision. Crockett also stressed the IFC's stance on hazing, no matter the outcome of Beta's case. "We have a zero tolerance for hazing," Crockett said. "We are doing everything we can to eliminate hazing on campus, and IFC is a resource when fraternities need help." News of the allegations has also spread around the chapter's alumni community. Bruce Rayner, a 1978 Miami graduate and Beta alumnus said he is disappointed by the news. "It's certainly unfortunate," Rayner said. "I'd be more inclined to be sympathetic if it's just a few bad apples." Rayner also said with Miami being the Alpha chapter, attention to the fraternity is very high. "The Alpha chapter has to lead by example," Rayner said. "They have to act in a manner that represents the fraternity. All eyes are on them."
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