News Releases

Updated fraternity standards: Focusing on the future Higher GPA to join; Live-in housing directors return

December 14, 2018

OXFORD, Ohio – Starting in spring 2019, specific changes to fraternity life at Miami University will strengthen principles and limit risk among the fraternity chapters.

National standards, university protocols and new member processes that uphold ideals of brotherhood still underscore fraternity life at Miami. But, university, alumni and student leaders have decided on several actions meant to increase accountability and reduce reports of conduct violations that overshadow the student groups’ service and academic achievements.

• Starting in spring semester 2019, fraternities will need to have new members complete online training courses on leadership and accountability.
• The groups will complete a new-member period in four weeks (down from eight).
• In the recruitment period of spring 2020, all new members will be required to have a GPA of at least 2.75 (up from 2.5) to join a fraternity.

Another new expectation resurrects an old practice: To obtain the second-year exemption that allows sophomores to live in fraternity houses (Miami otherwise mandates first- and second-year students to live on campus), fraternities will need to have live-in house directors. (Beginning fall 2019)

These changes are a strategy to help Miami create a model Greek community -- one where students bring out the best in each other, hold one another accountable, and are leaders on campus and across the country. The changes are expected to:

• Create a culture that develops and rewards student leadership through participation in a fraternity.
• Focus on academic excellence and student success.
• Address the nationwide challenges of hazing and high-risk alcohol and drug use while holding students and chapters accountable for standards.

“We believe in the potential of Greek life to be a positive, transformational experience for students, and Miami and Greek life partners have worked together to improve the culture of Greek life over many years, with specific efforts in the last two-three years. The new policies for fraternities come primarily out of concern for student health, safety and well-being and, ultimately, their success,” said Jayne Brownell, vice president for Student Life. “Throughout the summer and this fall, alumni, chapter advisers, Greek life and Student Life staff, and Interfraternity Council student leaders contributed thoughtful input to create these new recommendations and policies.”

It has been at least 30 years since it was a regular practice for fraternity chapters at Miami to have live-in directors, sometimes known in the past as housemothers. The fraternities’ national organizations will work with local chapters to hire them.

The directors, who are expected to be hired by August 2019, will oversee property and events and provide general oversight to the chapters. Several other large universities have live-in house directors.

Miami’s sorority chapters have meeting spaces in residence halls. These new rules apply just to fraternity chapters.

“Fraternities at Miami University have been leading for generations,” Miami President Gregory Crawford said. “Under this plan, our fraternities will focus on developing leaders who uphold our values and advance the success of our students.”

“The fraternal experience has so much to offer students. Miami is making an investment of additional time and resources in developing fraternity chapters that can provide impactful leadership and service opportunities for students for years to come,” added Jenny Levering, director of student activities and the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Chapter compliance will be made public through a community standards report (scorecard) for transparency.

Contact: Claire Wagner
wagnercm@miamioh.edu
office: (513) 529-7592

Former President of Zeta Tau Alpha at Miami University Wins National Award

ZTA National Award Winner Kim Brochocki

Kimberly Brochocki, former president of Zeta Tau Alpha’s Beta Delta Chapter at Miami University, received the Louise Kettler Helper Memorial Award at ZTA’s biennial Convention held in June in Orlando, Florida.

The award is presented to one collegian whose service and achievements made notable contributions to the progress of the Fraternity and the fraternity/sorority world. It is the highest honor given to a ZTA collegiate member.

During Kimberly’s term as president, she led her chapter through a dramatic shift in planning and implementing social practices. The chapter’s risk reduction plan is now used as a model both on the Miami campus and within Zeta Tau Alpha. In April 2018, ZTA received Miami’s Andrew Herman Memorial Chapter Excellence Award and Kimberly was honored as the Panhellenic Association’s Outstanding Chapter President.

Kimberly, who graduated in May from Miami with a degree in early childhood education, will work for ZTA this coming school year as a Leadership Consultant, visiting collegiate chapters across the country to provide guidance on officer education, leadership development, chapter organization and membership recruitment as well as in the establishment of new chapters.

Phi Delta Theta Suspends Charter of Ohio Alpha Chapter at Miami University

Phi Delta Theta Logo

Oxford, Ohio, July 31 – Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters has placed the charter of its Ohio Alpha Chapter at Miami University in escrow, and the chapter is temporarily closed due to violations of risk management policies. Phi Delta Theta is committed to the health and safety of its members.

Phi Delta Theta placed the chapter on General Council probation this past fall 2017 for violations of its alcohol-free housing policy. Since then, the chapter has continued to violate risk management policies.

Phi Delta Theta will return to Miami University during the spring 2019 semester with the support of the General Headquarters, the chapter’s house corporation and advisory board, local alumni, and Miami University.

Founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on December 26, 1848, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity has 186 chapters and colonies and 95 alumni clubs across the United States and Canada. To date the Fraternity has initiated over 260,000 men into the society whose founding principles are friendship, sound learning and rectitude.

Statement from Alpha Delta Phi Headquarters on Fabricated Image at Miami University

Crest of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity  
April 18, 2018
Contact Steve Ehrfurth
steve.ehrfurth@alphadeltaphi.org

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Today, we were made aware of a fake Snapchat screenshot featuring hateful and racist language that has circulated within the Miami University community. The image itself is a complete fabrication - manipulated to make it appear that several members of the Alpha Delta Phi chapter were using bigotry. The screen names shown do not belong to the members named, the Snapchat group does not exist.

We greatly appreciate the university’s attention to get to the bottom of this matter, including working with students who were negatively impacted by seeing this image, as well as those whose names were falsely used.

From its inception, Alpha Delta Phi has rejected racism, as it is directly counter to the ideals of the fraternity experience. We don’t know from whom this image originated, but while it is not connected to Alpha Delta Phi, we regret its impact, as no person should face discrimination.

Statement from Delta Zeta Headquarters April 9, 2018

Delta Zeta Logo

Delta Zeta is a values-based organization that unites our women around a common purpose: to walk truly in the light of the flame. We condemn the discriminatory and hateful language used in a video posted by former members of Delta Zeta, as these actions are inconsistent with our founding values that we strive to uphold every day. We are a diverse and inclusive organization and are appalled about the actions of these former members, as we deeply respect all members of the Greek and the campus community. We took immediate action upon learning of the situation and these individuals are no longer members of Delta Zeta because we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. 

Contact press@deltazeta.org.

A Message from the Vice President of Student Affairs March 6, 2018

Based on reports that made us all concerned for member health and safety, the Interfraternity Council required all chapters to end their new member processes and initiate by February 23rd. At the same time, the Interfraternity Council also issued a temporary social suspension of all activities. Miami fully supported and applauded those actions.

As we move forward with the semester and the Interfraternity Council begins to lift the social suspensions on a chapter-by-chapter basis, I want to reiterate Miami University’s deep concern for the health and safety of all students. The privilege of hosting social events comes with a high level of responsibility. It is my expectation that all local, state, and national policies/laws will be followed by those chapters that are allowed to host events. Any violations will be dealt with on a chapter basis, as well as an individual basis. We are also continuing to investigate all hazing reports and will take appropriate disciplinary action against chapters and individuals involved.

As we continue to re-think the Greek experience at Miami University, it is our clear expectation that our fraternity members will uphold the highest standards and will make both Miami and their national organizations proud. We look forward to improving our system by working together, aiming to set a new standard for a what a model system could be. I welcome your ideas for improvement, and we will be reaching out individually and collectively to map out a plan moving forward to build a healthy Greek community.

Jayne E. Brownell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Miami University

A Message from the Interfraternity Council February 20, 2018

Following recent reports, the Interfraternity Council has suspended the 2018 new member period as the university immediately begins investigating reports of misconduct. All chapters within the Interfraternity Council must initiate their new members no later than Friday, February 23rd, at 5pm. In addition to new member initiation, the Interfraternity Council is also suspending all chapter activities and social events indefinitely. Initiation is the only chapter activity that can take place until further notice. Parents and family weekends, philanthropy and service, if already approved, may continue. Chapters must still have their new members attend new member convocation and Greeks Step Up community programming.

Chapters who are currently on a cease-and-desist order from the university or their national may not initiate their new members and may not have any activities.

Reports of hazing that lead us to take this action are antithetical to the pillars of Greek life; we who uphold those pillars will not tolerate behaviors in violation of them.

With sorority and fraternity members at Miami tallying over 23,000 hours of community service in 2017 and maintaining high GPAs, we know those behaviors are not indicative of the majority of Miami Greek students. Yet, the Greek community has an active stance against hazing and we must act for the betterment of individuals and the whole.

***

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) represents the 24 fraternity chapters recognized at Miami University. As an organization, IFC represents the collective interests of the community, serving as both the governing body and the organization system for the chapters. Its purpose is to promote and perpetuate the best interest of Miami University and the Fraternity and Sorority Community and to encourage the most complete intellectual, emotional, physical, and social development of the members of the fraternities. The Interfraternity Council works to ensure that fraternities at Miami University establish high standards and lofty pursuits, to promote service and philanthropy, and to foster cooperation and harmony among all organizations. 

Statement to the Interfraternity Council from President Gregory Crawford February 20, 2018

Miami University does not tolerate hazing. We have demonstrated our resolve to act decisively with serious sanctions against acts of hazing. Following several allegations of hazing in recent days, we are equally resolved to protect the safety of our students. We have shared our concerns with Miami’s Interfraternity Council and national fraternal organizations, and are working with them to respond appropriately.

We support action by the Interfraternity Council to order initiation of all new members by Friday, February 23, and to suspend all new member activities and social activities effective immediately. We believe this is a productive first step, but not the only step we will take to address our concerns and keep our students safe. We are investigating multiple reports of misconduct involving hazing and have shared those reports with Oxford Police, because hazing is a criminal act. We are determined to hold the responsible organizations and individuals accountable. In addition, at least six national fraternal organizations have filed cease-and-desist orders against their Miami University chapters, pending an investigation.

We have spent the past two years working closely with students, alumni and national organizations to change our culture and develop a model Greek system. Despite those efforts, we are not where we need to be. We expect Miami students to act responsibly and legally, inside and outside the classroom, and to respect the dignity and safety of those around them. Anything else violates the values that have defined our Miami community for generations. Those responsible for these acts have embarrassed themselves, their chapters and Miami University.

We are committed to working with our students to help them make safe and healthy choices. Miami actively educates students about responsible alcohol use, and enforces laws and university policies for the safety and health of our students and others. 

We will investigate any report, and we strongly encourage anyone who suspects or knows of any occurrences of dangerous behavior or student misconduct to report them to Miami University Police at 513-529-2222, or Oxford police at 513-524-5240, or to local law enforcement if the incident is away from Oxford.

http://miamioh.edu/campus-safety/no-hazing/

http://miamioh.edu/student-life/fraternity-sorority-life/member-resources/anti-hazing/index.html

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