With its letters being taken down from Edwards House, the Theta Delta Chi fraternity will not be allowed to live in its on campus house for two years as part of its sanctions for hazing.
The brothers of Theta Delta Chi fraternity received a letter from the Office of the Dean of Students that stated the Greek Judicial Board found Theta Delta Chi Fraternity responsible for the charges of hazing, disorderly conduct, failure to comply with a college official and aggressive physical behavior.
Stephen Leavitt, Vice of President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, stated, “The hazing offense included kidnapping members and transporting them to an off-campus location.” However, Theta Delta Chi was not found guilty of hazing as a crime as defined by the state of New York.
Christopher Hayen, Director of Campus Safety, stated, “The person(s) was a willing participant, which means the person was not a ‘kidnapping’ victim. “
“Union College hazing and Greek policy is not based on the same requirement as a crime definition. This hazing case was supported as hazing by a college policy and not crime law. Not all hazing incidents are crimes,” he continued.
The resulting sanctions still allow Theta Delta Chi to be recognized as a fraternity, but place it on social probation for the remainder of spring term in addition to losing on-campus housing. Furthermore, they are required to “organize and engage in programming to raise awareness of the Hazing Policy.”
Liz Artz, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said that the incident was handled in the same manner as other incidents involving a report to Campus Safety.
Artz said, “The sanctions imposed were in line with the Greek points brochure.” According to the brochure, accumulating 15 points requires the Dean of Students Office to review the fraternity for recognition by the college.
Following the Greek Judicial Board assigning responsibility to the fraternity for charges of hazing, the Deans office determined the final sanctions.
According to Dean Leavitt, multiple administrators, in addition to the four deans, were part of the discussion.
He said, “For a violation as serious as hazing, the sanctions can involve suspending the fraternity completely. If anything, because we have allowed them to remain an active chapter, this is lesser than has been done in the past.”
“Each situation is different, but removing someone from the house is available sanction, and has been used in the past,” he continued. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life also notified the Theta Delta Chi Central Office of the charges brought up against the fraternity.
Dean Leavitt said, “My understanding was that Nationals were going to take the composites…their representative told them that they were going to be taken right away.” Theta Delta Chi failed to provide a statement.
When asked about what will happen to Theta Delta Chi’s current house for the next two years, Artz said, “We are currently tabling discussing for what will happen to Edwards House. I do know that it will stay in the Greek community and for the 2016-17 academic year it will remain vacant and go through renovations under the direction of Facilities staff.”