Phi Delta Theta Fraternity has been suspended from Missouri State University for violating the organization’s “risk management” policy.
Neither university nor fraternity leaders have specified what Phi Delta Theta members actually did to warrant being banned for at least the next three years.
The action was ordered by the Phi Delta Theta National Headquarters.
On Jan. 20, the fraternity’s headquarters told MSU officials that the local Missouri Epsilon chapter had been ordered to cease operations immediately for violating a policy that prohibits, among other things, hazing, abusive behavior, drugs and alcohol and high-risk events.
“Missouri State University’s Office of Student Engagement and Office of Student Conduct supports Phi Delta Theta’s decision to close the Missouri Epsilon chapter,” said Thomas Lane, MSU dean of students at the Springfield campus.
Lane said that because the fraternity has been banned the university is suspending an investigation it had planned to launch that could have led to sanctions against the entire fraternity.
However, the university will continue to investigate an individual Phi Delta Theta member on charges that he violated the student conduct code.
This suspension is the second time in the last two years the fraternity has been reprimanded for a violation. In 2016, Phi Delta Theta was put on level one probation for a year because of a minor hazing incident, Lane said. That probation was lifted in the 2017 fall semester.
The latest penalty is the result of new violations that occurred this year, Lane said.
Lane said the last time a greek organization was suspended at the campus was in 2008, when Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority was shut down by its national headquarters for hazing. That sorority returned in 2013.
Phi Delta Theta members who were living in the fraternity’s 26-bed house adjacent to the MSU campus have been notified about the suspension and informed about the availability of on-campus housing.
Phi Delta Theta, founded in 1848, has 187 chapters and colonies and 95 alumni clubs across the U.S. and Canada. The fraternity has been at Missouri State since 1985.