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Acacia fraternity house sits at 36 E State St in Athens, Ohio. (FILE)

OU chapter of ACACIA fraternity receives cease and desist

Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to include a response from the ACACIA Fraternity Headquarters.

Ohio University administration issued an immediate cease and desist order for all activities of the OU chapter of ACACIA fraternity Monday.

The university received allegations that the organization engaged in activities prohibited by OU’s Student Code of Conduct, including putting “the health and safety” of OU students at risk, according to the letter. 

University spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said the university was alerted that actions may be against the Student Code of Conduct, and a thorough investigation will be initiated.

The order was sent by Taylor Tackett, assistant dean of students and director of Community Standards and Student Responsibility Community Standards, to ACACIA chapter President Colin Dedrick.

There were not any specific details listed in the cease and desist letter about the health and safety risks.

An official investigation into allegations will take place to ensure the health and safety of all OU students, Tackett said in the letter.

The order also includes that all members of the organization are not permitted to meet or have contact in any capacity. That includes organizational meetings,  executive board meetings, organizational programming, social events, philanthropic events and any trip or travel, according to the letter.

ACACIA is also not permitted to communicate in any form, including over social media, according to the letter. Any communication must be pre-approved by Tackett.

Tackett asks that Dedrick send him a list of ACACIA’s full membership, including new members or pledges, anyone who was given a bid but is no longer in the process and the reason they left and all big-little pairings. Those items must be sent to Tackett by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Failure to do so will result in Dedrick and all ACACIA members being charged with failure to comply under the Student Code of Conduct.

CSSR has initiated an investigation into allegations against ACACIA, according to the letter. Members of the fraternity will be required to appear in front of CSSR or other university staff. 

Tackett asks that all members of ACACIA do not discuss information shared during its meetings in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, according to the letter.

The order is not a university sanction, but all members are still expected to comply with the terms. 

The ACACIA national staff was sent the directive, and all other members of ACACIA will receive the communication when their names are given to Tackett, according to the letter.

The ACACIA Fraternity Headquarters is aware of the cease and desist order, Benjamin Turconi, director of communications and education at the ACACIA Fraternity Headquarters, said. The headquarters will work with OU and the chapter’s alumni advisors on the matter. 

“Acacia stands committed to providing a positive environment that encourages academic and personal success,” Turconi said in an email.

The university cannot provide any other information at this time, Leatherwood said in an email.

ACACIA was previously investigated by the university in October 2016 because of a video of a sexually explicit song that was posted to social media, according to a previous Post report. During that time, a cease and desist order was also given to the OU chapter. 

The investigation ended after four months, and no evidence of hazing was found, according to that same report.


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