Delta Tau Delta closes chapter

The Delta Tau Delta fraternity closed its GW chapter late Wednesday night after allegations of hazing. The fraternity cannot return to campus until fall 2007.

Executive Vice President of Delta Tau Delta national James Russell declined to comment on specifics of the violation but said national launched an investigation earlier this month.

“The chapter violated the policies of the fraternity,” Russell said. “Our desire (is) to return to GW with a chapter that aligns with the values of the University and Delta Tau Delta.”

Members of the fraternity currently occupy a townhouse at 2020 G St., which is owned by a private housing corporation composed of Delta Tau Delta alumni.

Russell said national informed housing corporation members of the decision Wednesday night and that the body will meet within a few days to discuss the future of the house and its tenants.

He said the tenants will remain in the house until further notice, but all Delta Tau Delta letters and items will be taken down in an “efficient” manner.

Delta Tau Delta President Clifton Coffey declined to comment.

Russell said the University agrees with national’s decision to suspend the chapter on campus.

Tim Miller, associate director of the Student Activities Center, said Tuesday that he could not comment until national made a decision on GW’s chapter. He was unavailable for comment after national officials decided to close the chapter late Wednesday night.

GW’s Gamma Eta chapter of the fraternity was founded in 1903 and is one of the oldest fraternity chapters on campus. There are 1,200 alumni and undergraduates from the GW chapter.

Chris Martz, director of communications for Delta Tau Delta, said that as many as three chapters of the fraternity lose national charters each year. Martz cited inability to obey the fraternity’s policies and declining membership as the primary reasons why chapters lose their national charters.

Despite hazing allegations, students recalled fond memories of partying at the Delta Tau Delta house, known for its late-night parties, especially since the University created its Townhouse Row this summer.

“It’s the only place left to party – the only frat,” sophomore Lindsey Vernand said. “Last year SAE and Delt were the two big frat party houses. SAE is not there anymore. So everyone went to Delt, (especially) late-night.”

But some members of Greek-letter organizations said they think the punishment is appropriate. Several Greek-letter presidents declined to comment.

Alpha Epsilon Pi was the last fraternity at GW to lose its national charter for hazing in 2001. The fraternity returned to campus with a new group of members last fall. The Sigma Chi fraternity also lost its national charter in 2000 for hazing. n

-Elizabeth Chernow and Julie Gordon

contributed to this report.

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