Baker Student Center

Two Ohio University Greek organizations have been issued cease and desist orders by Ohio University.

According to a release from the university, the limited orders stem from separate reports alleging the Sigma Kappa sorority Beta Upsilon chapter and the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity Alpha Omega Delta chapter had engaged in conduct that would potentially compromise the health and safety of the groups’ members and the Athens community.

“Details of the allegations will not be publicly disclosed to protect the integrity of the University’s investigatory process,” the release stated.

Both Greek organizations’ headquarters have been notified of the matter by the University. Both chapters also received notification of an administrative investigation by the University.

The limited cease and desist allows many of the organizations’ regular activities to continue un-abated — the on-campus houses are still open, communication between members and meetings of the groups’ organizational and executive boards can still be conducted, and philanthropy work can still continue.

However, any social events or events that would add new members must be suspended until the groups have written permission from the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at OU.

OU’s community statement also noted that there could be additional steps taken if the organizational reviews result in findings of the students violating the code of conduct. This could be both University judicial proceedings and criminal charges, the release stated.

Anyone who has witnessed concerning behaviors is encouraged to report the incident that put members of the community at risk using this link: https://www.ohio.edu/student-affairs/community-standards/report-incident.

This is the second fall semester in a row that Greek organizations have come under scrutiny from the University.

Neither organization issued orders in 2020 were named in the 2019 investigation into hazing allegations against 15 Interfraternity Council chapters at OU.

The groups were suspended during the investigation into Greek Life hazing. The university sent cease and desist notices to two fraternities — ACACIA and Alpha Epsilon Pi — after having received allegations the groups had engaged in conduct that put students’ health and safety “at risk” in early October. These cease and desist orders prevented any communication between members, prevented any members from meeting in groups and sought to keep the evidence needed for the investigation uncorrupted.

The university mandated these chapters not engage in any organizational activities and that members not communicate with one another.

Not even a week later, three sororities and a professional fraternity joined the ranks of suspended campus organizations. Cease and desist letters were issued to Delta Zeta, Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi and Phi Chi Theta. The first three are chapters within the Women’s Panhellenic Association, which governs 10 sororities at OU. The latter, Phi Chi Theta, is a co-educational business fraternity.

A month later, in early November, the three sororities were declared free and clear, with no evidence of hazing found by the university’s investigation.

Meanwhile, two other Interfraternity Council chapters that were accused of hazing have accepted responsibility for violating the Student Code of Conduct, Leatherwood said. These include Theta Chi and Delta Tau Delta.

Allegations released by OU in October described that both organizations forced new members to carry pieces of fruit with them at all times, with the size of the fruit growing progressively larger as the pledging process went along.

The many other allegations made against fraternities, sororities, the men’s rugby club team and the Marching 110 band ranged from these mostly benign traditions to serious accusations. Students reported forced drinking and drug use; sleep deprivation; trapping students in a basement for days at a time; and inviting strippers to perform at a fraternity house.

A few weeks later on Nov. 21, a year after Ohio University freshman and pledge for the fraternity Sigma Pi Collin Wiant died under suspicious circumstances, arraignments were held for nine individuals and the Silver Serpent Exotic Gifts shop on Court Street in connection to that death.

Sigma Pi was expelled from the university in April 2019.

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