Miami charged Delts with three Code of Student Conduct violations
The student was blindfolded and thrown to the ground. He had been slapped, spit on and kicked from all sides by his fraternity brothers while doing pushups, according to interviews conducted with several new and active members of Miami University's Delta Tau Delta (Delts) fraternity by the Office of Community Standards (OCS).
More brothers surrounded him, reportedly taking turns brutalizing his buttocks with a spiked paddle.
At various points, he screamed in pain. Later, he cried on a brother's shoulder and begged to go home, according to OCS' 33-page investigative report of the Delts' hazing incident this March.
The student -- one of 25 new members who joined Delts early second semester -- never imagined this was how his big/little reveal night would go.
The final report, obtained Thursday by The Miami Student, recommended charging the fraternity with three Code of Student Conduct violations: endangering health and safety, hazing and intoxication or prohibited use of liquor.
On Friday, May 17, OCS held a hearing to formally charge Delts with the three violations.
At the hearing, Miami determined that Delts bears institutional responsibility for the matter, resulting in potential permanent dismissal from campus.
No students showed up to represent the fraternity at the hearing, according to a letter from the university to Delts.
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OCS Director Ann James told The Student the university would prefer to hold a hearing before August, but no official date has been set.
OCS was tasked with determining if Delts had violated six Code of Student Conduct articles, but the investigation only found enough evidence to charge the fraternity with three.
While the OCS report only recommended charges for the frat as a whole, the report notes that the university is drafting investigations into multiple students who reportedly took part in the events.
James confirmed to The Student that several members of Delts were charged by the university at the May 17 hearing, but she declined to say how many students were charged or name which violations they were charged with. James said giving out that information would violate federal privacy law.
Students charged by the university are still enrolled and undergoing the appeals process for their individual charges, said director of university news and communications Claire Wagner.
On the night the student was reportedly beaten, he was hospitalized with a blood alcohol content of .231 after attending the mandatory big/little reveal, an event where new members are paired up with a "big brother." He told his girlfriend to "call 9-1-1, I feel like I'm going to die," according to an incident report filed by the Oxford Police Department (OPD).
Five days later, the student reported Delts for hazing to OCS. The fraternity was suspended and immediately placed under investigation.
The report included testimony from several members of the fraternity who were present at the alleged hazing ritual as well as interview notes from the student who reported the hazing. All identifying information about the students was redacted.
In the report, some Delts said the brutal initiation was purely for tradition and not meant to cause harm. Others simply saw it as a way to connect or "horseplay."
"[The point is] to turn boys into men. It fucking sucks, but it pays off in the end," one member wrote in a text message included in OCS' report.
Some Delts interviewed during the investigation tried to downplay the extent of the alleged hazing. They emphasized the student who reported Delts to OCS had free will throughout the entire night, telling OCS he chose to drink and participate in all of the activities without coercion.
OPD's office manager, Amy Gabbard, said no criminal charges have been filed in relation to the March 16 hazing incident.
Assistant news editor Briah Lumpkins contributed reporting to this story.