By Cole Behrens
Athens NEWS Associate Editor
Ohio University suspended the Delta Pi chapter of Sigma Chi on Tuesday for hazing and lying to investigators.
Sigma Chi is the second OU fraternity to be suspended this month; Delta Tau Delta was suspended in early July for several violations of the student code of conduct including furnishing alcohol and coerced consumption of substances, The Athens NEWS previously reported.
Sigma Chi fraternity was issued a cease and desist order in April for allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct and endangering the “health and safety” of its members.
Sigma Chi was notified earlier on Tuesday by Taylor Tackett, assistant dean of students and director of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, that the organization has been suspended from Ohio University’s campus for four years, according to a release.
The organization will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in 2025, according to the release. The national organization will need to apply for reinstatement should they wish to return to Ohio University at that time, according to university guidelines.
At the conclusion of the University’s internal investigation process, the chapter admitted that it had committed physical brutality, which by university policy includes, but is not limited to, “paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, or exposure to the elements,” and to forcing others to violate the law and/or university regulations or to engage in “personal servitude,” as described in the university policy manual.
The chapter also admitted to furnishing false information to university officials or law enforcement, which violates Ohio University’s Student Code of Conduct, Part D-2.
The fraternity was previously suspended from OU in 2003 after members held a party in the Athens Community Center that caused more than $1,000 in damages. The chapter’s house at the time, located at 15 Park Place, was purchased and renovated by OU with a $2 million gift from alumni Robert and Margaret Walter of Columbus; it is now the Walter International Center. The Delta Pi chapter reorganized on campus in 2014, with a house at 80 E. State St.
The suspensions come as universities across the state move to take a zero-tolerance approach to hazing, driven in part by the recent signing of Collin’s Law, named after an Ohio University student who died of asphyxiation while pledging the Sigma Pi fraternity in 2019.
Ohio University President Hugh Sherman and other public university presidents on Monday joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine as he announced new hazing sanctions, including automatic dismissal of any student convicted of criminal hazing and barring them from attending any Ohio public university, The Athens Messenger reported. The universities also pledged to work with law enforcement, strengthen the role of student organization advisors, improve hazing education for families and possible future students, provide data on hazing incidents and offer personal outlets to report hazing.