Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Beta Theta Pi Kicked Out of U of Maryland

U. Maryland fraternity kicked out for repeated offenses
By Owen Praskievicz, The Diamondback

University of Maryland officials ordered fraternity Beta Theta Pi off the campus last week and refused to officially recognize the organization, citing a litany of past rule violations. The action requires at least a two-year absence of the organization from the campus.

The punishment is the most drastic measure the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life could take against a fraternal organization. Despite the seriousness of the decision, OFSL Director Mike Hayes declined to reveal the specifics of why Beta, currently residing in a Fraternity Row house, was kicked out.

"We probably won't air the dirty laundry of Beta -- that's not in anybody's interest," Hayes said, but noted Beta received a string of warnings during the past two years after police and other sources raised concerns about the fraternity's members.

The fraternity's dismissal comes at the end of a school year that saw the passage of a formal policy governing fraternity and sorority practices and behaviors, which Hayes said reflects OFSL's mission to build a "values-based" greek community years, Horras and Shriner each said.

The last university chapter to have its charter revoked was Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 2004, but the preceding two years were turbulent for the fraternity. Hayes acknowledged accusations of hazing and rape as well as a student death there contributed to the chapter's dismissal.

For Beta, though, "there was no smoking gun" Hayes said.

(C) 2006 The Diamondback