CHAMPAIGN, Ill. In early September, because of allegations of hazing, the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was suspended by William L. Riley, the dean of students, and the fraternitys General Headquarters in Oxford, Ohio. During the suspension, the fraternity was not permitted to conduct any operations, including membership recruitment, pending a hearing with the universitys Board of Fraternity Affairs.
Acting as the UI fraternity disciplinary body, the Board of Fraternity Affairs, consisting of students, faculty, staff and community members, reviewed the allegations and a formal response from the alumni and undergraduate members of the fraternity at a Sept. 20 hearing. The board found, based upon the allegations and admissions to certain allegations by the chapter, that hazing violations had taken place during the spring and fall 2001 semesters.
The board determined that the charter of Phi Delta Theta be temporarily revoked pending the completion of membership interviews conducted by Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters and the development of a new member education plan that is based on a zero-tolerance hazing policy.
Once these two conditions of continuance are met, it will be determined by the alumni and General Headquarters of Phi Delta Theta if the suspension should be lifted.
Once this is determined, the following conditions will be placed on the fraternity: an oversight committee will be developed consisting of representatives of the University of Illinois and Phi Delta Theta alumni; a social activities and intramural sports ban will be in place through the spring 2002 semester; each member must perform 50 hours of community service during the 2002 spring and fall semesters; and, members will coordinate a fall 2002 presentation on hazing for the 53 fraternities of Greek Community.
The development of an internal judicial board and active involvement by the General Headquarters in the new member education program are also conditions that must be met for Phi Delta Theta to continue to remain a part of the Greek community.
Upon the completion of the various conditions, the fraternity will remain on probationary status with the university and its General Headquarters through the fall 2004 semester. Membership recruitment will be allowed beginning during the spring 2002 semester if the revised membership education training program is accepted by the Oversight Committee and the fraternitys General Headquarters.
The chapter will only be allowed to remain on campus if General Headquarters and the alumni believe there are individuals dedicated to transform the fraternity. Such transformation will involve an assessment of current new member activities and the development of a new program to ensure the abolition of hazing.
Dan Deneen, former Housing Corp. president, represented the fraternity at the hearing. "The university and the Board of Fraternity Affairs issued a decision which recognizes the seriousness and unacceptability of hazing to the University of Illinois," he said. "The willingness of the chapter members to assume responsibility for the past actions and chapter and alumni initiative in developing a new program which does not tolerate hazing provides an opportunity for Phi Delta Theta to resume its role as a leader in the fraternity community at Illinois. There is no appeal of the decision, rather, our energies are focused on the future and identifying men who want to be part of the new tradition Phi Delta Theta will build beginning now."
Riley, who attended the Board of Fraternity Affairs hearing, said: "The men of Phi Delta Theta have been advised by the University of Illinois, Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters, and the alumni that hazing will not be tolerated in any manner, and that subsequent violations will undoubtedly result in a summary closing of the chapter by the University of Illinois and Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters."