Correction: The Athens Police Department is not investigating the ninth fraternity chapter mentioned below, despite an earlier version of this story stating so. The OU Police Department is still reviewing those allegations, OU spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said Tuesday, correcting an earlier statement she made.
Ohio University late this afternoon released the names of all eight fraternity chapters it's investigating for allegations of hazing. This news comes after the university last week suspended all 15 Interfraternity Council chapters based on those allegations.
OU spokesperson Carly Leatherwood reported Monday that the OU Police Department is investigating a ninth chapter after reports of alleged criminal hazing, although she declined to name that chapter. Leatherwood explained that the OU Police Department reviewed the initial reports of hazing against the eight fraternity chapters, and "so far, none of those have risen to the level of actionable criminal activity." The OUPD is still reviewing the allegations against the ninth, unnamed chapter.
The eight fraternity chapters that are the subject of the administrative investigation by OU are:
- Alpha Epsilon Pi.
- Beta Theta Pi.
- Delta Tau Delta.
- Lambda Chi Alpha.
- Phi Kappa Psi.
- Sigma Chi.
- Theta Chi.
Leatherwood explained that the when the university receives allegations "such as these," it's part of the university's process to have the OUPD review the allegations before it initiates an "administrative investigation." She said that review is still ongoing in the case of the ninth fraternity.
"Details of these allegations will not be publicly disclosed to protect the integrity of the University’s investigatory process," Leatherwood wrote. "The Ohio University Police Department has reviewed initial allegations of the eight organizations listed above, and so far, none of those have risen to the level of actionable criminal activity. The police routinely coordinate with those conducting the administrative investigations, and if additional information emerges to suggest a crime occurred, the police will get involved immediately."
News of the mass suspension of the IFC chapters at OU spread like wildfire, garnering headlines in big national media outlets over the weekend. The suspension does not affect the other nontraditional fraternity and sorority-related councils at OU such as the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council or the Women's Panhellenic Association.
A cease and desist order was sent last year to the OU chapter of the Sigma Pi fraternity after an 18-year-old OU student – who was allegedly a pledge of that chapter – died of asphyxiation due to nitrous-oxide ingestion at a party at 45 Mill St., which allegedly was an unofficial annex of that fraternity chapter.
That chapter was expelled from OU last April for multiple violations of OU’s alcohol and hazing policies, The NEWS previously reported.
Leatherwood added Monday that the suspension of all 15 IFC chapters remains in effect.
However: "Those fraternities who are not under active investigation will be able to work closely with our Sorority and Fraternity Life office in the upcoming weeks to develop a plan for reinstatement," she wrote. "We have committed that we will not wait until all investigations are completed to lift the blanket suspension. Fraternities will have an opportunity for reinstatement on a case-by-case basis."
With many fraternity members returnin to Athens as alumni this weekend for Homecoming, they likely will be wondering how the blanket suspension of all 15 IFC members will affect HC activities.
According to Leatherwood, "We understand that Homecoming is an important time for alumni of sorority and fraternity life as they return to campus. As such, the alumni-only events will be permitted on a case-by-case basis. Questions related to alumni only events should be directed to the Dean of Students Office at email@example.com.
This is a breaking story. See more background here.