Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lessons from the Girls

Miami sorority suspended after party

By Jennifer Baker

OXFORD – Miami University has suspended a sorority for one year after members were described as drinking heavily, behaving crudely and destroying property during the sorority’s spring formal at Lake Lyndsay Lodge in Butler County.

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women announced on its website that Miami suspended its Ohio Zeta chapter shortly after an administrative hearing was held April 30. Pi Beta Phi said it also placed its Miami chapter on probation.

“Fraternity leadership is observing the university’s decision, but has not yet determined the future of its chapter’s charter,” the Fraternity statement reads.

The suspension means the sorority loses its campus dorm suite, can't recruit new members and can't participate as a group in campus activities, Miami spokeswoman Claire Wagner said. There was no answer Tuesday at an Oxford, Ohio, telephone listing for the chapter.

In a letter to Miami’s dean of students as testimony for a university disciplinary hearing, lodge owner Lyndsay Rapier-Phipps described a wild scene of drunken debauchery and destruction during the April 9 event. The letter was posted online.

“When the students arrived around 8 p.m. most were heavily intoxicated and some could barely manage to walk inside the facility,” her letter states.

Students took drinks onto the dance floor, broke a toilet in the women’s restroom and continued to use it, urinated in sinks, toppled a table of food onto the carpet and vomited several times.

The group was permitted to use table decorations for free, but they hurled crystal vases off a porch to watch them shatter below on a concrete patio. A large concrete lion also was knocked over and broken.

At one point, several men jumped the counter to get their own drinks after the caterer stopped serving alcohol. People defecated outside. Two couples were caught having sex.

Thirty-seven 30-packs of beer were left behind at the building and found by lodge staff members, who had to scramble to remove them all before a wedding that was not serving alcohol was held there the next day.

“We are appalled at the students’ behavior,” Rapier-Phipps wrote. “My husband and I are graduates of Miami University, and we both agree that college students can drink and have a good time, but last Friday was not just a bunch of college students drinking and having a good time. It was a bunch of college students getting totally obliterated and behaving like immature children.''

The owner says no other sorority or fraternity from Miami University is welcome at Lake Lyndsay again.

She said she kept the group's $500 security deposit to go toward the costs of repairing the damages and extra cleaning.

"The alumnae join Fraternity leadership in expressing great disappointment in the decisions of a few chapter members who have completely disregarded the values in which Pi Beta Phi was founded," Mary Loy Tatum, grand president of the 134-chapter organization, said in a statement.

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