ormer members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity can remain in their house until the end of the semester, Interfraternity Council leaders said.
Delta Tau Delta’s national organization revoked the chapter’s charter last week after allegations of hazing. The chapter can no longer operate under the name Delta Tau Delta, and the University will not recognize the group as a fraternity.
“From the University’s perspective, there is not a Delta Tau Delta chapter on campus,” said Tim Miller, associate director of the Student Activities Center.
Student Judicial Services will conduct hearings for the fraternity’s six or seven former Executive Board members in the next two weeks, Miller said.
Clifton Coffey, former president of Delta Tau Delta, did not return several phone calls Monday.
Miller said SJS found out about “possible infractions” the week of Jan. 19, and began investigating. The following week, more charges surfaced, and the national organization stepped in to help with the investigation. Miller declined to comment on specifics of the infractions.
He said SJS and national representatives interviewed newly initiated fraternity members, all fraternity board members and some other members.
Miller said he could not comment on specific charges brought against fraternity members. He said all SJS hearings start with a minimum punishment, and rulings are based on individual circumstances and prior student judicial records.
“In any trial or judicial process with SJS, expulsion is always the maximum (punishment),” he said.
Hazing is defined as “any action taken or situation created, intentionally, with or without consent, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule,” according to GW’s Code of Student Conduct.
Examples include paddling, scavenger hunts and making others engage in “public stunts and buffoonery,” or degrading or humiliating activities, according to the code. Expecting members to drink alcohol or take drugs, with the threat of expulsion from the group, is also prohibited.
A student organization or individual officers can be held accountable for hazing incidents and face SJS violations.
SJS Director Tara Woolfson was out of the office last week and was unavailable for comment.
James Russell, executive vice president of Delta Tau Delta national, said his organization has not been in contact with the University since officials made their decision to close the chapter Wednesday. He declined to comment on the future of the house, located at 2020 G St.
Several students and Greek-letter leaders said Delta Tau Delta will be missed for its parties, community service and contribution to Greek-letter life.
Earlier this semester, the fraternity received a community service award for participating in a philanthropic Jazz Night in Southwest D.C. Last year, fraternity members coached a Northwest D.C. Little League team to an undefeated season. The fraternity was also known for its late-night house parties.
“It’s sad because they played a large role in the Greek community at GW,” Interfraternity Council President Ben Block said. “But they have to deal with the consequences of their actions just as anyone would.”
“From my standpoint, it’s a great loss (for the Greek-letter community),” said Harris Markowitz, president of Pi Kappa Phi.
Miller said while he understands there is a social component to Greek-letter life, “that’s not what these groups formed on.”
“Greek life can’t be the way it was 20 years ago because people have made a lot of mistakes, he said.
Delta Tau Delta’s loss of its charter is not the first time the chapter has committed serious University violations.
In Feb. 2001, Metropolitan Police arrested at least 10 people at a Delta Tau Delta-sponsored party for Student Association candidates. In April 2001, the University placed the fraternity on social probation following two charges of underage drinking and a discriminatory remark against homosexual students.
The “APES” fraternity, formerly Alpha Epsilon Pi and then Zeta Beta Tau, began recruiting members under a new name after losing national recognition. “APES” is unaffiliated with a national group or GW.
Delta Tau Delta members were unavailable for comment as to whether they would form an unrecognized group.