Zeta Beta Tau out at UM after hazing probe

Mark Hicks

A University of Michigan fraternity has had its charter pulled amid a probe into hazing involving members at the Ann Arbor campus, officials announced Tuesday.

Zeta Beta Tau International’s staff worked with the UM Office of Greek Life and Division of Student Life for months to investigate and conduct an exhaustive membership review before determining that “members were violating various Fraternity policies, including those which prohibit hazing,” national group leaders wrote in a statement.

That pushed the fraternity’s governing body, the Supreme Council, to vote “to remove recognition from the Colony” at the school, according to the release.

The fraternity had been in the process of recolonizing, or becoming re-established, on campus, said Rick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the university.

“We can tell you that the U-M Dean of Students Office is offering assistance to the affected students,” he told The Detroit News on Tuesday night.

The decision follows other issues with Greek life at the school, including those in 2005 at Zeta Beta Tau, when the fraternity was fined after an investigation found pledges were hazed, The News reported at the time.

In November, UM’s Interfraternity Council, a student organization, suspended social activities through the fall after numerous reports of hazing, drugging and sexual misconduct involving fraternity members.

The self-imposed suspension allowed the council to review its policies and practices. On Jan. 3, the IFC started “a phased process of restoring social event privileges,” officials said in a statement.

That doesn’t mean the suspension is immediately lifted but involves “chapters being notified of specific action plans they will need to complete,” the group said.

“We are confident that the 27 chapters of IFC will take the necessary steps to address the chapter policies and practices to more fully comply with expectations for the management of social events. These steps also will allow IFC chapters to foster more safe and inclusive environments for all University of Michigan community members.”

In 2016, a woman’s fraternity, Kappa Alpha Theta, was disbanded after allegations of hazing, underage drinking and other issues.

More than 200 fraternity and sorority members trashed Treetops Resort in Gaylord in January 2015 during a weekend of partying, resulting in suspensions of the groups and criminal charges against some members.

UM President Mark Schlissel later told the Detroit Economic Club there might be a time when fraternities and sororities might no longer be on campus.