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Sorority under investigation for hazing

Alpha Phi was reported on Feb. 5 for hazing. The university is currenly investigating.
Alpha Phi was reported on Feb. 5 for hazing. The university is currenly investigating.

Miami University’s Alpha Phi chapter is under investigation after reports of hazing.

In a statement provided by Alecia Lipton, associate director of media relations, Lipton writes that the reports were made on Feb. 5 “by members of a sorority.” The statement did not specify if the reports came from members of Alpha Phi or another sorority. 

After receiving reports of hazing, Panhellenic advisors responded by reporting the chapter to the Office of Community Standards.

On Feb. 6, the morning after sorority bid day, a video circulated throughout the Miami community showing Alpha Phi members drinking and chanting. It’s not clear if this was the incident under investigation. 

According to Miami’s anti-hazing page, hazing is “any incident or activity that may or may not cause mental or physical harm to a student looking to join an organization.” This can include forced drinking (of alcohol or another substance), humiliation or physical harm. Lipton said the university has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing. 

“Students or organizations found responsible for violating the code of conduct, endangering health or safety, and/or violating laws will be held accountable,” the statement read. “This could mean, among other things, individual or organizational suspension or dismissal, disciplinary probation, or required attendance in a substance abuse program.”

Alpha Phi President Brianna Bauman and Membership Recruitment Chair Mackie Wilson were not immediately available for comment.

Miami’s history of hazing

In the past five years, five student organizations have been suspended or put on disciplinary probation for hazing. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was removed from probation in 2019. Miami’s Club Rugby was restricted from hosting competitions until December 2020, and is on disciplinary probation until 2026. Two fraternities, Alpha Sigma Phi and Lambda Chi Alpha, will be on probation until May of this year. 

Delta Tau Delta has the only suspension in the past five years. The fraternity is not allowed to return to campus until 2034, with the chance to petition for an earlier reinstatement after 2029. 

In 2019, the fraternity was found guilty of hazing that included blindfolding and requiring new members to consume alcohol and illegal substances, as well as physically assaulting new members. Around this time a new law was being heard in the Ohio Senate. Collin’s Law, which passed in 2021, makes hazing a felony and failure to report a misdemeanor. 

The law is named after Collin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died in 2018 after a hazing incident. Tyler Perino, who was hospitalized due to hazing from Delta Tau Delta at Miami, spoke to the Ohio Senate in support of the law. 

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“I feel like it's my duty to speak up about this type of thing because I was fortunate enough to live through my scenario,” Perino said in an interview with The Miami Student in 2021. “Now I just feel like the ‘Why me?’ has turned into a positive experience for me because I can go out and try and prevent this from happening again.”

The university is currently investigating the Alpha Phi report, according to Lipton’s statement.