Following months of suspension, the UW-Madison chapter of Chi Phi fraternity has been terminated as a student organization for violating Student Organization Conduct policies, according to a Wednesday university release.
Assistant Dean and Director of the Center for Leadership and Involvement Eric Knueve said this termination means the group will not be allowed to participate in activities with other registered student organizations or receive funding from the university.
“The advice for any group that goes through this kind of scenario is to go ahead and disband the organization, find other ways to get involved and hopefully in four or five years we’re looking at a new chapter that is more committed to the positive values of Chi Phi,” Knueve said.
The Dean of Students Office suspended the chapter in January after receiving a report accusing members and leadership of hazing new fraternity members during last December’s initiation weekend.
The report sparked an investigation by the Committee on Student Organizations that ultimately revealed the fraternity chapter members hazed new members by depriving food, forcing hooded isolation and threatening their health and safety. The hazing led to one new member suffering a concussion, according to the release.
The chapter was also cited with violating the Student Organization Alcohol Policy because it forced underage members to drink in excess without having a risk management protocol in place.
As a result of the committee’s findings, the chapter will no longer be recognized as a student organization by the university nor as a fraternity by the Interfraternity Council.
Knueve said although hazing cases have been “very rare” at UW-Madison in recent years, it is important to take them seriously.
“Having student organizations on campus is a privilege, and when a student org. joins campus, we ask them to agree to a set of ground rules to make sure we are productive and contributing to campus,” Knueve said. “As soon as they become a detriment, we need to hold them accountable in order to protect that privilege for all other student organizations.”
Chapter members can appeal the decision by the Committee on Student Organizations within the next 10 school days.