There’s something happening at the University of Arizona. No, I’m not talking about constant stream of gorgeous girls that seems to come out of that place (but seriously, how many Instagram Babes of the Day can one school have?). I’m talking about what’s happening with the school’s fraternities.
Since 2012, eight fraternities have been closed at the University of Arizona, either by their national organizations or the university. The latest, Delta Tau Delta, was suspended by their headquarters on July 1st for “repeated violations of the fraternity risk management policies, poor academic performance among the new members and failure to make satisfactory progress during the spring 2015 semester,” a letter from Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity said, according to Arizona Public Media . The university requires that each chapter is in good standing with its national organization to remain a registered student organization on campus, so the Delts are out.
And they join a pretty substantial list of former chapters at U of A. A quick rundown of the rest of the university’s fraternity closings in the last three years:
January 2012: Phi Kappa Psi – Charter revoked by national organization due to “repeated instances of hazing over a period of time.”
April 2012: Delta Chi – the chapter was stripped of recognition by the UA for repeated violations that “presented a threat to the health and safety of members.”
September 2012: Tau Kappa Epsilon – stripped of recognition by the university for “an entrenched culture of disregard for student safety that involved multiple forms of hazing.”
April 2013: Pi Kappa Phi – After getting in trouble 14 times between 2010 and 2013 for hazing and events where underaged people were served alcohol, the chapter was closed by the national organization.
August 2014: Phi Gamma Delta – Suspended for five years due to alcohol, hazing, and other violations (including claims that members withheld information from police after the death of a fraternity member Michael Anderson).
March 2015: Delta Sigma Phi – Lost recognition after the university sent a letter to Delta Sigma Phi headquarters detailing graphic hazing.
May 2015: Theta Chi – Recognition withdrawn by the university due to hazing allegations.
It should be noted that almost all of these chapters were on probation when the final gauntlet was thrown down. Interestingly though, of the seventeen remaining fraternities, six (Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi) are listed as “under sanctions” on the campus’ chapter conduct and judicial page, eight (Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu, Zeta Beta Tau, Kappa Alpha, Omega Delta Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Tau, and Pi Kappa Alpha) are listed as having no current issues, and three (Alpha Kappa Lambda, Theta Xi, Beta Psi) are not listed there at all. For the sake of comparison, of the fifteen sororities listed on the same page, four are listed as under sanctions.
But back to the frats: eight chapters gone in three years and a third of the remaining chapters on probation? What’s going on here? A December 2014 article by Arizona Public Media asked the question about what was going on in U of A’s Greek system to prompt so many closings, but didn’t seem to get too many answers, aside from the “Fraternities are held to a different standard than other student organizations” story that is usually told. But that happens everywhere, so that can’t really be it, can it?
The Dean of Students, Kendal Washington White, did admit in that piece that chapters can be suspended before an investigation is complete, saying, “When there (are) actions or allegations that we think place the campus community in danger, we’re going to immediately place the organizations on…suspension rather than waiting until we complete the investigation.”
So is it a rush to judgment of the chapters who possibly violate the rules at the University of Arizona that’s resulting in so many chapter closings? Or is the university simply cracking down on a Greek system that’s out of control? Admittedly, we don’t know the details of the issues that lead to these closings and sanctions, so it’s hard to know either way, but I do know this – someone had better figure out what’s going on here before there’s no Greek system left..
Image via Sinfonia