Ohio University’s Office for Community Standards and Student Responsibility has finished initial meetings with leadership from most student organizations in question.
OU has decided to modify restrictions placed on several organizations.
The university suspended all Interfraternity Council Organizations on Oct. 3. The suspension on all IFC organizations has been lifted for all organizations that were not under cease and desist orders, according to a news release.
The process is ongoing, and the university may lift or impose additional restrictions as more information comes forward.
The following organizations are still under cease and desists: Beta Theta Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, the men's club rugby team and the Marching 110 for non-academic activities only.
Delta Upsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon have had restrictions lifted conditionally.
All restrictions have been lifted for Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Kappa Tau and Delta Tau Delta.
OU modified restrictions on Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Kappa Psi, ACACIA, Phi Chi Theta, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Theta Chi, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Zeta and Chi Omega, but the modifications are not known.
OU released the reports that were made against organizations that have been suspended.
ACACIA was issued a cease and desist on Sept. 30. The fraternity received two hazing reports.
A student wrote in a journal entry for a University College 1500 course on Sept. 23 that they decided to join a fraternity. In the journal, the student said they went to the Involvement Fair and “immediately clicked with some of the guys” and decided to rush for ACACIA.
“On Monday night all 25 pledges and I went and cleaned 5 houses as part of our ‘hazing’ and what sounds like a rough time just brought us closer together and made us push through the work,” the anonymous journal entry said.
Another incident for ACACIA was reported through the OU Incident Reporting Form on Sept. 23.
According to the report, a sorority member was walking past ACACIA’s house, 36 E. State St., when she noticed loud music being played, “weird” noises coming from the house and new members inside.
Later that night, the same woman ran into an initiated member of ACACIA and asked what the noises were. The member reportedly responded by saying “oh it’s the start of our hazing process,” according to the report.
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Epsilon Pi received a cease and desist on Oct. 2.
A graduate assistant reported on Oct. 1 through an incident reporting form that during a class, he heard that a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi had to wake up early in the morning to text fraternity members the weather for the day. This was impacting the member’s sleep to the point of exhaustion, according to the redacted report.
Alpha Kappa Psi
In a redacted incident reporting form, a respondent said they were invited to an off-campus residence and given alcohol. Although they were not forced to drink, they said they felt uncomfortable.
“I felt as though I had to drink to fit in or still be apart of the organization,” the report reads. “It makes me a little uneasy knowing that there have been so many incidents recently so I just wanted to speak out.”
Beta Theta Pi
Ariel Tarosky, director of sorority and fraternity life, reported that a student called her office to tell her that she saw members who lived in the house taking safes and trunks out of the house because of the rumor that fraternity houses were being raided. The student said the safes were “full of drugs,” according to the report.
The student said hazing in Beta Theta Pi goes “further than it needs to go.” The student said hazing was horrible but was adamant on not disclosing her name because “she said she would have to transfer schools because of how bad it would be for her,” according to the report.
In another report to Tarosky, a Beta Theta Pi member said new members had to clean all of the active brother’s houses. Then, they would be forced to drink an excessive amount of alcohol.
“The hazing was very much about breaking them mentally,” Tarosky said in the report. “They would lock them in a room and interrogate them for hours until they broke down. They would lock them in a basement for days and make them listen to the same song for hours or just have them sit there blindfolded.”
The new members would also have to wake up at 4 a.m. and run five miles around campus, according to the report.
Lambda Chi Alpha
A man who was reportedly intoxicated at the time told a respondent about their experience as a new member as well as his two roommates’ experiences, who were new members of different organizations.
One of his roommates, a new member of Lambda Chi Alpha, recalled having to participate in “Hell Week,” which occurred the week prior to initiation. According to the report, new members were “secluded to the basement for the entire week and not allowed to bathe, sleep at home, do homework or go anywhere else other than class.”
On Oct. 7, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones received a redacted email congratulating Hall-Jones and her staff for their decision of suspending fraternity life at OU. The redacted email mentioned a student, who was no longer a member of the fraternity, but was hazed.
“He was hazed, kept in a damp basement, drank to excess, and had his phone taken for 1 week,” the report said.
The author of the email, who also mentions themselves as a parent, said they once received a call from the student on his way to the hospital at 2:30 a.m., and that he had an asthma attack.
“Thank GOD his ‘brothers’ took him to the ER,” the parent said in the email. “The fraternity culture has become dangerous and frightening on ALL campuses, and leaders must step up!”
The email continues to say how college administrators must be “proactive in stopping this behavior before others are hurt.”
On Oct. 3, the same day all fraternities were suspended on campus, Lambda Chi Alpha intended to continue with their social, according to an incident report submitted by Tarosky. Members of the fraternity said it was for a birthday party.
“Once we found out, my graduate assistant, [redacted], called the [redacted] and informed him that continuing with the event under any scenario would be violating the directives outlined by Jenny,” the report said.
Based on a report from that night, the party still took place, Tarosky said in the report.
Phi Kappa Psi
In a redacted report, the same as the initial incident report about Lambda Chi Alpha, the respondent described how new members had to participate in “Hell Week.”
Pi Kappa Phi
Pi Kappa Phi was placed under investigation Oct. 17 and had one hazing report.
In a redacted general conduct report, the person reporting said Pi Kappa Phi revealed their Big/Little pairings by making pledges chug a big bottle of Smirnoff Ice. They didn’t have to finish the bottle because their bigs finished them for them.
Sigma Chi was issued an administrative investigation on Oct. 7 and had three hazing reports.
A graduate assistant wrote in a redacted general conduct report that a student, who was also pledge member of a different fraternity, complained that “outside my fraternity I have no free time until basically December.”
The student reportedly could not attend required out-of-class events.
During a class discussion, a student said that his low point for the week was that “clearly I got beat up this weekend.” He had cuts all over his face, arms and hands, but he gave no indication why this happened or any indication that this was due to his status as a pledge.
During Fall 2018 at a Sigma Chi formal in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a new member, who was intoxicated, talked about being forced to work out. He said they were also required to carry kegs back and forth and do wall-sits for 15-20 minutes while the brothers were sitting on their laps and kicking their legs out from under them.
During Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, Sigma Chi had a weighted dummy that they called “Butch.” The new members were required to carry, clean and dress him, according to a report.
After the new members are initiated, the chapter pays for strippers to come down from Columbus and perform for them, according to the report.
Theta Chi received an administrative investigation on Oct. 7. The organization had one hazing report.
In a redacted incident report, it was claimed that new members of the fraternity are required to carry a “small fruit (i.e. blueberry, lemon, lime) visible on their body at all times” during the 2018-2019 academic year.
When initiated members see the new member on or off campus, they are able to “smack the fruit out of their hands or take the fruit from them,” the report said.
The following day or week, the new member is required to continue to carry a larger piece of fruit, eventually progressing to carrying fruits the size of a watermelon.
Pi Beta Phi
In a redacted general conduct report by an OU Greek alumni, the respondent said that Pi Beta Phi has girls “sit on dryers nearly naked and circles fat in sharpie marker,” according to the report.
Phi Beta Phi, Chi Omega and Delta Zeta received cease and desists on Oct. 9.
An OU alumni reported that Chi Omega forced girls to do drugs almost every rush.
“The hazing isn’t just happening in the fraternities,” the person who reported said in a general conduct report. “Please put a stop to all Greek life until it can be fixed.”
A woman said in an anonymous general conduct report that her hazing experience in Delta Zeta as a freshman resulted in multiple broken bones as well as depression and bullying.
Another anonymous person was a member from 2012 until 2014, said the alleged hazing, abuse and bullying resulted in her hospitalization, dropping out of the sorority and OU altogether.
Pi Chi Theta
Pi Chi Theta, a business fraternity, received a cease and desist on Oct. 9.
A faculty member in the College of Business and a member of the advising center that works with student groups reported to a redacted person a discussion he had about pledging in the business fraternities with a freshman learning community.
The redacted person reported a student in his freshman learning community received feedback that Pi Chi Theta had an activity where a female student was taking off the shirt of a male student and multiple female students were sitting on the laps of male students.
The complainant called the student over a phone and was told that the incident had occurred in the “speed dating session,” according to the report. She agreed the shirt incident was inappropriate and said it was shut down after it was started.
It was reported to the university and the College of Business Diversity and Inclusion officer.
In a sexual misconduct, relationship violence and stalking incident report, a third party reporter said several female students were asked to do inappropriate things in part of ‘speed dating’ events. These events were meant for current group members to get to know prospective members.
The report also said female students were asked to take off male students’ shirts and the female students were asked to sit on the laps of male students, according to the report.
Hall-Jones reported Phi Chi Theta because of a “Pie a Pledge” fundraiser at college gate, saying it was a form of hazing. One of the pledges asked Hall-Jones if he could sign a waiver to make it OK, but she said that he couldn’t do that because people cannot consent to hazing behaviors.
The students were very cooperative and apologized, and they said that they did not know that what they were doing was considered hazing.
The Ohio University Marching 110 had four incidents reported against the organization.
The first report was filed anonymously by a student on Oct. 9, 2019.
The student reported they had gotten word by an anonymous source that the Marching 110 forced freshmen and new members to drink alcohol or “they would be shunned.” The report also said band members are to burn a hole in their “expensive uniforms to fit in with others.”
“One member in the report is said to have left the Marching 110 because he didn’t want to drink with members and he was not welcomed in the marching 110 family,” the anonymous report said.
A parent filed a complaint against the Marching 110 on Oct. 5.
The report stated a member of the band said he had been repeatedly encouraged and nearly forced to attend parties with bandmates and to consume alcohol while there.
“He does not drink and does not believe in it, which put him in a very uncomfortable position,” the parent said in the report.
According to the report, he spoke to other students about the incident. A redacted date was the date the ongoing issue was discussed with the band member but not the date of the incident. The parent also said they might have retained messages from the discussions between them and the member who told her the information.
On Oct. 10, an incident reporting form was filed a day after the suspension of the band was announced.
A redacted report said that information was shared that a woman heard from an ex-boyfriend.
Her ex-boyfriend was a member of the band as a first year student in 2014. During that time, he would tell her about things that he experienced as a new member, which included getting a hole burned through his Ohio logo on his jacket with a cigarette while he was wearing it. Members also had to dirty their jackets via rolling or being pushed down a hill. The report also said they “had the shit beat out of them” by current members.
Richard Suk, the director of the Marching 110, filed an incident reporting form on Oct. 14.
In the report, he described the tradition of the band that students condition their jackets so they look worn. The new members would receive their jackets and dirty them to look vintage with other band members.
Suk said he and his colleagues met with Hall-Jones and Martha Compton, dean of students, in 2014 about the tradition. They decided it was best if the tradition was supervised. Suk said in the report that they have been supervising the dirtying event.
On the day he filed the report, two student leaders of a band section reported that in Fall Semester 2017 and Fall Semester 2018, players of a redacted section “would gather at a fellow student's house and muddy up a spot in the backyard and dirty up their band jackets.”
Activities included wearing the jackets, sliding through the mud, wrestling with each other and rolling around with the jackets on. Both student leaders said it was optional and few chose not to participate.
“I told them that was beside the point and that it did not comply with instructions given,” Suk said in the report.
Men’s Club Rugby Team
On Oct. 17, the men’s club rugby team was issued a cease and desist for all organizational activities.
According to the redacted incident report, a friend of a member of the team contacted the respondent about an incident within the team. They were forced to drink liquor and “run around naked and chug a beer and tag a car with his genitals,” the report said.
The respondent also mentioned in the email that this was not the first time they had heard of forced or coerced drinking within the team.
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated the date of when the first incident report was filed against the Marching 110. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.