Shollenberger deferred his decision on revoking the fraternity's charter until May 31 after meeting with ZBT members as well as members of the Inter-Greek Council Judicial Board, Student Affairs spokesperson Katherine Cutler said in a statement Friday. The board originally recommended the organization's charter be revoked in late January following an unspecified hazing infraction, and Dean of Community Development and Multicultural Affairs Terry Martinez upheld that decision.
In its appeal of the rescission, ZBT outlined an action plan that includes “a full-review of their current membership, suspension of social activities, mandatory training, adherence to the Greek ALPHA Standards, and a recommitment of their national values,” Cutler said. The ALPHA standards require fraternities and sororities to meet minimum standards for philanthropy, academics, and leadership development, among other categories.
If the fraternity does not adhere to the plan, is found responsible for any additional violations, or fails to receive a satisfactory rating on the standards, its charter will be rescinded and members will be immediately removed from the organization's house, on 115th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive.
Progress reports will be due at the end of the semester and following the next two semesters.
“At any point during this period or at the end of each review, the chapter's recognition may be rescinded and members will be immediately removed from the house,” Cutler said.
The organization “is grateful for the trust and support of Columbia University in our ability to create a model chapter on campus and in the community,” international ZBT leadership said in a statement Wednesday.
Cutler said that the administration was also planning a larger push to clarify hazing policies and start a campus conversation around the issue.
“We are concerned that our current hazing education and prevention initiatives do not adequately address the issue,” she said, adding that many students and staff are confused about what constitutes hazing. “Recent events suggest that there is work to be done."
Student Affairs will partner with student leaders and other administrative offices “to develop a more comprehensive educational program and policies that address hazing-related issues in all student groups and organizations on campus—beyond just the Greek community,” Cutler said, in order to provide the student body with “a clearer definition of hazing and its impact on our campus.”
“The Greek community will continue in our efforts to raise awareness about the prevalence of hazing in the University community,” IGC spokesperson Jonathan Dean said in a statement. “We hope to help eradicate these practices from our community, and will support Zeta Beta Tau and all of our chapters in their plans to move forward and grow while addressing this important issue.”
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