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Fraternity closes at Miami following hazing, alcohol incidents

The Beta Theta Pi fraternity has closed its founding Alpha Chapter at the Miami University campus, after an investigation uncovered hazing and alcohol violations.

According to the fraternity organization, the allegations were verified during parallel investigations by the university and the fraternity. The fraternity will work toward rebuilding the chapter in two and a half years, during the 2016-2017 academic year, according to Miami University, which supports the decision to close the chapter.

“Accountability and personal responsibility are core values at Miami, especially for those who lead student organizations,” said Mike Curme, interim dean of students. “We expect our Greek organizations to model these values and adopt the highest standards of leadership and behavior.”

Claire Wagner, spokeswoman for Miami, said she could not say exactly what the violations were, but said there was a “pattern over time of misconduct” that “endangered people’s safety.” She also stated there was a lack of leadership at the Oxford fraternity.

With the closing of the fraternity, sophomore members living in the Beta chapter house must move back to campus, per the university’s two-year residency rule. Miami will help students with housing and meal plans immediately, so they can move to campus beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday. Upper class fraternity members have the choice of moving to campus or to other off-campus housing.

Beta Theta Pi’s administrative secretary, Jud Horras said, “The fraternity is governing itself in alignment with its values and standards as we seek to protect the well-being of every young man. Likewise, we will continue to do everything possible to support the undergraduate men and their parents during this stressful transition.”

Miami has suspended a number of Greek organizations within the past five years. In April, the Miami chapter of Alpha Xi Delta was suspended over prohibited use of alcohol. In 2012, Miami suspended Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau following an incident involving a fireworks battle between the frat houses that led police to find a large cache of illegal drugs. The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity was suspended in 2010 for alcohol and disorderly conduct violations. The Ohio Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi sorority was suspended that same year for “reckless behavior” at a rented facility.

According to Miami, there are more than 50 fraternity and sorority chapters comprising nearly 4,000 of its 15,000 undergraduates. Last year, sorority and fraternity members tallied 19,694 hours of community service. Their mean GPA of 3.19 slightly surpasses Miami’s non-Greek student population.

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