Allegations of Hazing, Alcohol Abuse Lead to Shutdown of Fraternity Chapter

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 15, 2008

University of Maryland officials have disbanded a 60-year-old Delta Tau Delta fraternity chapter over allegations of hazing that include "abusive alcohol consumption" and other indignities imposed on the current pledge class.

Photos obtained by "Terp Weekly Edition," a campus news radio show, show semi-clothed men lying facedown on the floor, drinking beer, wearing blindfolds and biting on pig's feet, according to a radio report.

The photos, which found their way to the Internet site YouTube in partially obscured form, "confirm some of the activities that we did unearth in the investigation," said Mike Hayes, director of fraternity and sorority life at the university.

Jim Russell, executive vice president of the international fraternity, said the conduct of the local chapter "is not in alignment with the principles of Delta Tau Delta and the expectations of students at the University of Maryland."

University officials said the investigation was prompted by an anonymous call Feb. 28 to a 24-hour hot line staffed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to address hazing and other concerns.

The investigation revealed a pattern of hazing dating to at least spring 2005, Hayes said. He said it was the first report of hazing at the chapter to reach his office.

The action, first reported in the university newspaper, the Diamondback, is the second this year against a fraternity for hazing. The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity is on a 10-month probation for an incident last fall in which stain remover was rubbed in a pledge's hair and water poured over his head, causing injury to his eyes.

After the latest investigation, the international Delta Tau Delta governing board revoked the charter of the university chapter, effective Tuesday.

The fraternity no longer exists on campus. Chapter members remain Maryland students and may pledge other fraternities, Hayes said.

Delta Tau Delta, founded in 1858, has about 117,000 alumni, according to its Internet site.

The site states that the fraternity does not ban alcohol but challenges individual chapters "to tell us how they will be dealing with alcohol." Its constitution outlaws hazing.

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