The Wisconsin Chapter of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity received a two-year suspension Thursday, closing investigations on the alleged member misconduct reported in March.
The Committee on Student Organizations, who facilitated the decision, released a comprehensive report May 23 that outlined the incident and subsequent investigation proceedings. According to the report, the fraternity received a full suspension for two semesters that will limit DU’s capabilities to function as a student organization.
DU also received further structured suspension spanning from 2013’s fall semester to the spring of 2014. Throughout the suspension, DU’s leaders will be required to attend personal meetings with the Center for Leadership and Involvement to “discuss the organization’s progress and prospects,” the report said.
The investigation followed a complaint filed March 20, in which two females walking across the property of Delta Upsilon Fraternity alleged they were the subjected to racial and class-oriented slurs.
The complaint also reported a glass bottle was thrown in the direction of the women, though neither was injured.
According to CSO’s decision report, the investigation focused primarily on the events that took place, whether the DU members in question represented the house as a whole and what responsibility DU should bear as an organization.
After much deliberation, the report said the committee found that the alleged “hurtful phrases” were not of a racial nature but rather carried a socioeconomic overtone.
“The terms ‘peasant,’ ‘rich,’ as well as the repeated use of ‘one-percent,’ suggest to us that these comments were social class-oriented rather than racially-motivated,” the report said.
CSO found the bottle allegedly thrown at the individuals to be a serious danger to health and safety and in violation of code.
According to the report, the committee was also persuaded that during the course of the altercation, the DU members involved acted in representation of the organization.
A statement released by the DU House Corporation, which has been working closely with the chapter president throughout the investigation, said that although it found the situation to be disappointing, “it is not indicative of all the young men in the House.”
The statement also said the incident is out of line with the DU mission, as cultural insensitivity is not tolerated within the fraternity.
CSO also addressed the influence of alcohol on the incident in its report.
“Our interactions with DU in the past year suggest to us an organization of fundamentally good men that often lack sound judgment when alcohol is involved,” the report said. “We do not believe that DU’s culture is one of racial intolerance, but rather it is one in which good judgment seems frequently absent in some of its members’ behaviors.”
The incident occurred twenty-two days after DU was removed from alcohol probation for an underage drinking violation, the report said.
Assistant Dean and Director for the Center for Leadership and Involvement Eric Kneuve, as well as CSO chair James Luo, declined all requests for further comment.