The National Headquarters of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity revoked the Beta Iota chapter charter on Oct. 14 following an investigation of charges made against the chapter that violated university policy and the student code of conduct. The investigation was a collaboration effort between the university and Tri-Delta National Headquarters.
“The national chapter of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity made the decision to withdraw the charter of the local UWG chapter following an investigation by the national chapter regarding activities confirmed to be in violation of university policy and the student code of conduct,” said Dr. Xavier L. Whitaker, associate vice president for student life at the University of West Georgia (UWG).
According to a statement released by Tri-Delta National Headquarters, “the Fraternity was alerted to alleged hazing and risk management concerns involving several Beta Iota Chapter members.”
Conduct issues from full chapters and individual members of the Greek community are not a new occurrence at UWG. In the fall of 2014, a total of 41 individual conduct charges were filed against members of fraternities and sororities. Charges last year included furnishing alcohol to minors, multiple sexual assaults and some hazing accusations. Despite these student conduct cases, UWG continues to support its Greek community and has preventative programs in place to educate members of sorority and fraternity life.
“UWG held a summit with Greek Life leadership in May 2014 addressing Greek Life social activities, standards of conduct, and appropriate behaviors,” said Whitaker. “Also, an external consultant was contracted to review the organizational structure, processes, and procedures for Greek Life as a whole. A key outcome was the creation of a UWG fraternity and sorority life improvement plan to review behaviors of the past and to define firm actions for improvements in the future.
“Elements of the improvement plan included proper and consistent training, education, of Greek Life leaders and members, social event management, student conduct assessment, actions for improvement, academic performance of Greek Life students, accountability for individual actions of all Greek Life members, respect and care for Greek Village as a facility, and the need for a detailed strategic plan to improve existing social behaviors,” continued Whitaker.
Despite these preventative measures, this is the second chapter of the UWG Greek community to have their charter revoked in the past year. In December 2014 the Delta Chi Fraternity National Headquarters revoked their UWG chapter charter after an incident involving hazing new members.
The UWG Registered Student Organizations Handbook outlines the rules and regulations for all student organizations registered with the university. In the handbook, hazing is defined as “as any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, on or off campus, which could be reasonably expected to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, the violation of university rules and regulations, the violation of the laws or policies of the parent organization and/or the violation of any local, state, or national laws.”
“We are deeply disappointed in the choices made by several members of our chapter at the University of West Georgia,” said National Fraternity President Phyllis Durbin Grissom, Southern Methodist, in the official statement released by the Fraternity. “This decision was made with a heavy heart as our chapter has enjoyed an uninterrupted 44-year history at West Georgia. Tri-Delta remains committed to its zero tolerance policy on hazing and will continue to be a passionate advocate for hazing prevention awareness and education across the country.”