6 UM fraternities, sororities suspended over vandalism

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Five more University of Michigan fraternities and sororities have been suspended following vandalism incidents at two separate ski resorts earlier this month.

Sigma Alpha Mu may face criminal charges for allegedly partying at the resort and leaving behind rooms with broken windows, damaged furniture and light fixtures and littered with food, beer and wine.

Pi Kappa and Chi Psi fraternities and Sigma Delta Tau, Alpha Phi and Delata Gamma sororities were placed on suspension by their national offices over the weekend, joining Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, which was suspended last week.

The fraternities and sororities inflicted tens of thousands of dollars in damages on scores of rooms rented Jan. 16-17 at Treetops Resort in Gaylord and Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, according to UM officials.

"These incidents simply do not reflect the University of Michigan's values or its expectations," said E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life. "The behaviors are a contradiction of what it means to be in and of a community, and we do not believe that being away from campus is a license to act in destructive and irresponsible ways."

Meanwhile, UM student body President Bobby Dishell, Interfraternity Council President Alex Krupiak and Panhellenic Association President Maddy Walsh issued an open apology letter.

"This terrible incident has been widely publicized across the nation, and rightly so: it was an act of shocking disrespect," said the letter, posted this past weekend. "We, as leaders and Greeks at the University of Michigan, do not tolerate these kinds of acts, nor do we let such behavior fall under the radar. We intend to handle this situation with the utmost efficiency, and we will ensure that those responsible for the damage to the properties will be held accountable throughout this process.

"Such vandalism or disrespect of any kind, especially to this degree, does not reflect the standards of our community. We value tradition, honesty, character, and above all, integrity. The events that occurred last weekend deface the honor we place upon each of these values, and we would like to express our regret that such unprincipled action reflects so poorly on our community. We are deeply sorry that the misbehavior of a few individuals has caused harm not only to the property but to the communities at large."

University officials and Greek student leaders vowed to investigate and hold individuals responsible.

The manager of Treetops has said he plans to seek charges over the damage done at the resort, which spanned 45 rooms and exceeded $50,000. The incident at the Gaylord resort is being investigated by Michigan State Police.