Report: Dangerous hazing violations including physical abuse and servitude force Auburn fraternity to close

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AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) — Beta Theta Pi Fraternity is closing its chapter at Auburn University following violations to the university anti-hazing policy resulting in a suspension for at least four years.

The information was shared in a news release from Martin Cobb, director of communication for Beta Theta Pi Fraternity in Oxford, Ohio on Dec. 3.

“Beta Theta Pi announced the closure and disbandment of its historic chapter at Auburn University. The activities that led to this result were serious and included alcohol, physical abuse, and servitude, many or all of which spanned several years and defied multiple interventions from the university, alumni and General Fraternity,” Cobb stated.

News 3 first learned of the allegations against the fraternity back on Nov. 15. However, at the time, an Auburn University spokesperson said they could not confirm or deny any active investigation.

Following an article by The Auburn Plainsman Monday, AU released a statement to News 3:

“Auburn University received a complaint of possible misconduct by the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on September 19, 2019. Auburn immediately launched an investigation into the alleged misconduct. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Beta Theta Pi Organization was found responsible for violations of the Auburn University Code of Student Conduct, Anti-Hazing Policy and Student Organization Social Event policy. On November 22, 2019, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Bobby Woodard rendered a decision to suspend recognition of the Auburn chapter of Beta Theta Pi for a four-year period. The organization may request reinstatement of recognition beginning in August 2023,” the statement read.

Cobb said the AU chapter was founded in 1964 and is home to 164 undergraduate Betas at the time of closure. The chapter’s charter will remain suspended and in care of the Board of Trustees throughout this period of disbandment, which will last at least four years, as agreed upon with university administration.

“These violations establish a dangerous pattern of behavior and a level of operational risk that is not acceptable for any Beta chapter, much less one with the history and esteem of Delta Zeta,” said Fraternity General Secretary S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73. “Consistent with the Fraternity’s position against hazing and unsafe social practices, the Fraternity is moving to disband Delta Zeta to best protect the health and safety of its members, as well as the long-term reputation and future of Beta Theta Pi at Auburn.”

According to the Plainsman article, the chapter is being forced to vacate its fraternity house located along Lem Morrison drive-by Dec. 31.


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