Ohio University on Tuesday suspended the Beta Chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity from campus for four years after the group violated university health orders and forced members to drink alcohol, among several other Student Code of Conduct infractions.
The fraternity’s national organization will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in 2025 should its membership wish to return to campus, according to a university news release.
The suspension followed a university investigation that found members of the Greek life organization provided false information to university officials; sold, distributed or furnished alcohol; provided alcohol to intoxicated individuals; failed to ensure that underage persons don’t consume alcohol; and caused, incited or participated in any disturbance.
The organization also failed to comply with lawful orders of university officials or law enforcement officers; committed reckless but not accidental actions that posed a reasonable risk of physical harm to others; coerced members to consume alcohol; and violated the university’s COVID-19 policies.
In February, the fraternity received a cease-and-desist letter following an event held that month amid the pandemic at a Mill Street home, raising concerns about violations to university health and safety orders, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
“Ohio University is committed to a safe and respectful campus environment that aligns with our institutional values of citizenship, civility, character, community, and commitment,” a university news release said. “We strive to provide an atmosphere on campus that promotes social and ethical responsibility and we take a thoughtful but active approach when faced with issues that impact student safety and wellbeing.”
This is not the first time OU’s chapter of Delta Tau Delta has been suspended. The university banned the fraternity for five years beginning in January 2010 after the organization pleaded no contest to misdemeanor hazing charges arising from a November 2009 incident. In that instance, two pledges were sent to Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital with injuries to their faces, arms, chests and backs — injuries the pledges said were incurred for failing to drink enough alcohol.
In addition to the five-year ban from OU, the fraternity was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay up to $10,000 in restitution to the two pledges.
Ohio University purchased the former chapter house at 4 University Terrace in 2017 for $2 million. It is now a residence hall.
Delta Tau Delta rechartered at OU in 2018. It was among eight fraternities briefly suspended in October 2019 after OU student Collin Wiant died of asphyxiation due to nitrous-oxide ingestion at a party at 45 Mill St., an alleged annex of the since-expelled Sigma Pi Epsilon fraternity chapter.
Only last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved “Collin’s Law,” legislation named for Wiant that imposes stiffer penalties for hazing.
The tragedy also prompted the university to ramp up anti-hazing efforts. More recent reforms include providing parents at student orientation with “scorecards” detailing incidents of hazing and other violent crimes on campus.
OU President Hugh Sherman, who attended the law’s signing event, reiterated that the university won’t tolerate hazing.
“I think we’ve done a really good job of changing the culture and making people understand that we’re not going to tolerate it,” he said last week. “I mean, I don’t want to be a president when somebody dies — I just can’t take that.”