Home Campus Ohio U shares substantial hazing allegations against Greek life and student organizations

Ohio U shares substantial hazing allegations against Greek life and student organizations

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Ohio University released more than 30 redacted documents Friday detailing allegations of hazing made against fraternities, sororities and other student organizations, which include allegations of sexual misconduct, forced drinking, assault, and torture.

Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones said last week at a Greek life town hall that the university had never released these allegations in the past, and a recent change in law require the documents be made public.

The release of hazing allegations arrives amid a court case involving the wrongful hazing-related death of freshman Colin Wiant. Wiant, a pledge of the now-expelled Sigma Pi fraternity, was found unresponsive on Mill Street in 2018 with containers of nitrous oxide near his body, commonly referred to as whippets.

ACACIA: 

Two allegations of hazing involving ACACIA were reported this past September, according to university documents. The organization was issued a cease and desist order from the university on Sept. 30. 

A student wrote in a journal entry for a University College 1500 course on Sept. 23 that he decided to rush for ACACIA where he “immediately clicked with some of the guys,” according to a copy of the journal entry provided by the university.

“On Monday night all 25 pledges and I went and cleaned 5 houses as part of our ‘hazing’ and what sounds like a rough time just brought us closer together and made us push through the work,” the student wrote.

University employees, including graduate assistants and student employees, are required to immediately report allegations of hazing upon learning them to Office for Community Standards and Student Responsibility, according to university policy.

Another incident involving ACACIA was reported on that same day through the Ohio U Incident Reporting Form. Per the report, a sorority member ran into an initiated member of ACACIA and questioned what she described as “weird noises coming from the house.” When she asked the ACACIA member what the noises were, he allegedly responded “Oh it’s the start of our hazing process,” according to university records.

Alpha Epsilon Pi:

The organization received a cease and desist order from the university Oct. 2, following a report made by a graduate assistant. The graduate assistant heard in class that a member of the fraternity had to wake up early in the morning to text fraternity members the day’s weather report, which affected the member’s sleep pattern “to the point of exhaustion,” a redacted report says.

Alpha Kappa Psi: 

An incident occurred Sept. 18 in which a respondent said they were invited to an off-campus residence and given alcohol. Though they were not forced to drink, they felt “uncomfortable,” according to a redacted university document. 

“I felt as though I had to drink to fit in or still be apart of the organization,” the report said. “It made me feel a little uneasy knowing that there have been so many incidents recently so I just wanted to speak out.”

Beta Theta Pi:

A report was made Oct. 3 by Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Ariel Tarosky, alleging that a student called her office because she said she saw members who lived in the Beta Theta Pi house taking safes and trunks out of the house due to rumors that fraternity houses were being raided by police. The student who called Tarosky said the safe was supposedly “full of drugs,” according to university documents. 

The student who called Tarosky’s office also said that hazing in Beta Theta Pi goes “further than it needs to go,” according to university documents. 

She was adamant on not disclosing her name as “she would have to transfer schools because of how bad it would be for her,” according to university documents.

Another report was made by Tarosky on Oct. 10 after a student visited CSSR and told Tarosky new members of Beta Theta Pi were allegedly forced to clean the houses of the active brothers and were then allegedly forced to consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Tarosky added in the report the student told her the hazing was about “breaking them mentally.” 

“They would lock them in a room and interrogate them for hours until they broke down,” the student told Tarosky. “They would lock them in the basement for days and make them listen to the same song for hours or just have them sit their blindfolded.” 

New members were also allegedly forced to wake up at 4 a.m. and run five miles around campus, according to the report. 

Lambda Chi Alpha: 

A report was made Oct. 2 that describes how members have to go through “Hell Week” — the week prior to initiation. The document explains how members are  put into a basement for a week and aren’t allowed to bathe, sleep at home, do homework or go anywhere other than class.

A concerned mother also reported Lambda Chi Alpha on Oct. 7 and described the hazing her son experienced. The parent described how members drink to excess and how her son’s phone was taken away by other members for a week. 

Another report filed on Oct. 4 claims that the fraternity had violated the rules of their suspension and held a social event. The report states that members held a social event and claimed it was a birthday party despite being previously warned that holding the event would be violating the suspension guidelines outlined by the university. 

Phi Kappa Psi was also reported to also have new members participate in “Hell week,” according to university documents.

Pi Kappa Phi:

Pi Kappa Phi had one hazing report filed in 2008; it was placed under investigation by the university on Oct. 17. 

The person who reported the fraternity said that pledges’ “big” pairings were revealed after they chugged a big bottle of Smirnoff Ice. They didn’t have to finish the bottles because their bigs would finish for them, according to university documents.

Sigma Chi:

Sigma Chi had two reports made against them, one was filed on Oct. 1 and the other was filed on Oct. 2. The first report describs how a new member told their professor that they couldn’t attend out-of-class events because of their fraternity commitments taking up all their time.

That same report also includes email communication between the new member and the professor who reported it. The email exchange is about how the new member got beat up, but they gave very few details regarding what occurred.

Another report describes how during new member education a pledge was forced to workout. This workout included hauling kegs around and doing wall sits for extended periods of time while current members attempted to kick their legs out from underneath them.

The report also alleges that the fraternity forced its new members to care for a weighted dummy named “Butch” and bring it to events. The document also alleges the organization paid for strippers from Columbus to come down and perform for new members.

Delta Tau Delta: 

A report was filed describing how new members of Delta Tau Delta are required to carry a small fruit on them at all times, such as a blueberry, lemon or lime, according to a university document.

When an initiated member saw the new members carrying the fruit they are able to take the snack, or smack it out of their hands. The new member is then required to carry incrementally larger pieces of fruit around campus, progressing to a watermelon, the documents said. 

Theta Chi: 

Theta Chi has been under an administrative investigation since Oct. 7, with one hazing report filed with the same description as Delta Tau Delta. 

Phi Chi Theta: 

Phi Chi Theta, a business fraternity, had three reports made against it between September and October. More than one document alleges female members of the organization were asked to take the shirts off male members and sit in their laps.

Hall-Jones reported the group Oct. 9 for advertising a fundraiser where members allegedly threw pie in the face of a pledge at the College Gate. A student asked if he could sign a waiver to make the event okay and Hall-Jones indicated that individuals can’t consent to hazing.

Delta Zeta:

Delta Zeta had two allegations made against them from alumni on in early October. An Ohio U alumnae described how they suffered multiple broken bones as a result of hazing. The alumnae did not indicate what year they graduated.

Another Ohio U graduate said between 2012 and 2014 hazing in Delta Zeta resulted in hospitalization and depression, which caused them to leave the sorority to drop out of Ohio U.

Chi Omega:

A report was filed against Chi Omega on Oct. 7 by an Ohio U alumnae those rushing were forced to do drugs.

The hazing isn’t just happening in the fraternities. Please put a stop to all Greek life until it can be fixed. Someone is going to be seriously hurt more than they already have been,” the alumnae wrote.

Pi Beta Phi:

Pi Beta Phi had an allegation reported against it on Oct. 7. The report alleges that girls are required to sit on dryers nearly naked and circle fat on other girls’ bodies.

Marching 110 Band:

The allegations against the Marching 110 were submitted between Oct. 9 and Oct. 14. The allegations said the band shunned members who don’t drink. In recent years, members also allegedly burned holes into their uniforms, were forced to dirty their band jackets, and that members “had the sh*t beat out of them” by other members.

Two of the four reports against the 110 discuss the drinking culture and how freshmen are allegedly forced to drink and attend parties with other members. The documents allege one member left the organization after they felt unwelcomed due to their decision not to drink.

Many of the reports also indicate that members were forced to burn out the Ohio logo on their jackets. One report indicates that a jacket was burned with a lit cigarette while it was being worn by a member.

The dirtying of jackets is indicated in many of the reports. Richard Suk, one of the directors of the 110, described in a report how it is a tradition that members dirty their jackets in an attempt to make them “vintage.”

One report alleges that to dirty their jackets, members were either pushed or forced to roll down a hill. Suk described in his report how two student leaders came and reported to him in 2017 and 2018 that members would gather at a house to dirty their jackets.

At this house members slide through mud puddles while wearing their jackets, wrestled with one another in the mud, and rolled around in the mud. Although the student leaders said this was optional, Suk told them that was beside the point and they had disobeyed instructions.

Men’s Rugby:

The men’s rugby team’s allegation was submitted on Oct. 10. The report alleges the team forced its members to drink, strip down, run around naked and “tag a car with his genitals.”

The report also indicated that this wasn’t the first time the individual who had reported the team heard of forced drinking within the organization.

Organizations’ suspension statuses:

The administration decided Thursday to modify restrictions placed on several organizations, according to a statement from the university.

Currently, all sanctions have been lifted for Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Kappa Tau, and Delta Tau Delta; while Delta Upsilon, and Sigma Phi Epsilon had sanctions lifted conditionally, according to the statement. The conditions of both organizations’ reinstatement, however, was not specified.

Beta Theta Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, Men’s Rugby, and the Marching 110 still remain suspended and under active investigation by the university.

CSSR conducted meetings with the student organizations that are in question, after suspending all fraternities within the Interfraternity Council on Oct. 3. 

The investigation process is still ongoing, and the university may decide to lift or impose additional sanctions on organizations as more information is uncovered. 

Ben Peters and Zach Zimmerman contributed to this report.

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