June 27, 2013

Two Cornell Fraternities Closed, Four Others Sanctioned After Hazing Reports

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Two fraternities were shut down and four others have been sanctioned after Cornell investigated reports of hazing at the chapters during the spring semester, the University announced Thursday.

The Alpha Tau Omega and Zeta Beta Tau fraternities were closed after their respective national fraternities found the chapters had not complied with University and national fraternity rules, according to the University.

Alpha Tau Omega’s Cornell chapter has “been in decline for several semesters” and violated risk management policies regarding alcohol and drugs, the national fraternity said to the University. Alumni hope to rent the chapter house to graduate students until the chapter is able to return.

Zeta Beta Tau, which was found to have “an inability to comply with University and ZBT expectations,” will reorganize and hopes to return in the 2014-15 academic year with new members. The chapter’s property will either be left vacant or rented until then, according to the University.

Additionally, four fraternities — Phi Kappa Psi, Chi Psi, Sigma Nu and Delta Phi — face disciplinary actions ranging from official warnings to receiving provisional recognition status as a result of University investigations.

After reportedly failing to comply with the University’s recognition policy, Phi Kappa Psi — which was previously placed on interim suspension — has been placed on provisional recognition status for at least one year, according to the University. Chi Psi has been placed on provisional recognition status for at least four years.

Sigma Nu has received an official disciplinary warning and will be required to host a hazing awareness program in the fall. Delta Phi was placed on disciplinary probation for one year and, in addition to having to host a hazing awareness program, will have one day of formal recruitment in the spring revoked, according to the University.

The spate of fraternity closures, suspensions and probations caps off an academic year that was marked by a series of disciplinary actions against fraternities. Although some students have accused the University of unfairly cracking down on Greek life, University officials have defended their actions as being necessary to ensure the system’s survival.

Throughout the 2012-13 academic year, the University saw an increase of reports regarding fraternities, Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, said in a University press release.

Partnering with the disciplined fraternities’ alumni and national organizations allowed Cornell to be “very effective” in its response to the reported hazing incidents, Apgar added.

“These were all appropriate actions taken based upon the circumstance,” Apgar said.

Original Author: Jinjoo Lee