Miami University has suspended its chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity for 15 years - one of the longest suspensions in the school’s history - for hazing violations earlier this year. A member’s claim of being forced to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana, being beaten with a spiked paddle and kicked led to the suspension. (File Photo/Journal-News)

National office reacts to Miami fraternity’s 15-year suspension: ‘We must work together to remove this problem’

The suspension of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity on Miami’s main Oxford campus is one of the longest in the school’s history, officials said.

And officials with Delta Tau Delta’s national headquarters told the Journal-News Thursday that the decision was due to “multiple violations of the Fraternity’s risk management policy, specifically acts of hazing during the spring 2019 semester.”

“Delta Tau Delta is a committed partner with Miami University as it addresses critical issues like hazing facing the campus community,” said Jack Kreman, CEO of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, from the fraternity’s main office. “Hazing is a behavior which transcends fraternities and higher education. Collectively we must work together to remove this problem from our society.”

In explaining the lengthy suspension, Miami officials said in a statement Wednesday that “in May of 2019, Delta Tau Delta was found responsible for three violations of the Miami University Code of Conduct.”

“In June 2019, Delta Tau Delta’s headquarters revoked the Miami University chapter’s charter.

“Following an appeal by the chapter, findings of responsibility were upheld and the organization is suspended through March 16, 2034, with an option after March 16, 2029, to petition for an earlier return to campus.”

According to the incident report the student filed with the university and obtained in March through a Journal-News public records request, a student pledge of Delta Tau Delta claimed to university officials the alleged abuse “occurred during a hazing ritual at the university during a mandatory event.”

The student, whom neither Miami nor Oxford police named, claimed he suffered “paddling leading to bruising and cuts with a paddle with spikes and grooves hitting me 15 times on the buttocks,” according to the report.

He told school officials of “being blindfolded and told I could not leave even when I requested. Being forced to drink large amounts of alcohol and (smoke) marijuana. Other harassing and abusive behaviors such as spitting in face and kicking me.”

The incident report filed by the student also says, “I was blindfolded alongside 24 other pledges and we all waited in a room for about 1.5 hours while very scary music was playing.”

What follows in the report was redacted by university officials to protect the privacy of students or not revealed for investigatory purposes, officials said.

“After that all of the pledges were taken to different rooms to receive their ‘big brother.’”

Further redacted information is then followed by “I then met my big brother and he explained” followed by more redaction.

“At that point I was very intoxicated, and they hit me more and more with wooden paddles,” the report said.“(I) told (redacted) within 5 minutes of being there ‘call 911 I feel like I’m going to die.’”

“The emergency squad showed up and took me on a stretcher … the … ambulance where I then spent roughly 7 hours in the hospital with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .231 and was released at approximately 7:15 a.m. Sunday (March 17) morning,” wrote the student.

According to the student, the alleged incident occurred at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house at 220 Tallawanda Road in Oxford near the Miami campus.

At the time of the incident Miami President Gregory Crawford released a statement saying “The contents of this report are brutal and deplorable and have brought us to a tipping point on this campus,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford said in a letter to the college community.

Crawford added at the time he was “disheartened and outraged” by the behavior outlined in the complaint.

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