UPDATE: Miami adopted new fraternity rules even before latest hazing allegation

Months before the latest Miami University fraternity allegations of hazing, school officials created a series of changes to help prevent the possibility of such abuse happening.

A Miami student last month claimed he was hazed and beaten by a fraternity - and later hospitalized - during a pledge ceremony.

Oxford Police and Miami officials are both investigating the allegations, and the school’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity house has been suspended.

Last fall school officials announced rule changes for campus fraternities that started this week as students returned from spring break.

“Fraternities will need to have new members complete online training courses on leadership and accountability. And groups will complete a new-member period in four weeks (down from eight),” according to a statement released by Miami officials in December.

“In the recruitment period of spring 2020, all new members will be required to have a GPA of at least 2.75 (up from 2.5) to join a fraternity.

And another new expectation resurrects an old practice: To obtain the second-year exemption that allows sophomores to live in fraternity houses (Miami otherwise mandates first- and second-year students to live on campus), fraternities will need to have live-in house directors,” starting in fall 2019.

“It has been at least 30 years since it was a regular practice for fraternity chapters at Miami to have live-in directors, sometimes known in the past as housemothers. The fraternities’ national organizations will work with local chapters to hire them,” according to the school’s statement.

The directors, who are expected to be hired by August, will oversee property and events and provide general oversight to the chapters. Several other large universities have live-in house directors, said officials.

Miami’s sorority chapters have meeting spaces in residence halls. These new rules apply just to fraternity chapters, said school officials.

“We believe in the potential of Greek life to be a positive, transformational experience for students, and Miami and Greek life partners have worked together to improve the culture of Greek life over many years, with specific efforts in the last two to three years,” said Jayne Brownell, vice president for Student Life.

“Throughout the summer and this fall, alumni, chapter advisers, Greek life and Student Life staff, and Inter-fraternity Council student leaders contributed thoughtful input to create these new recommendations and policies,” said Brownell.

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