The University of Wisconsin announced in a statement Monday it had suspended the Theta Chi fraternity due to violations largely involving drug and alcohol abuse.
According to the news release, the fraternity is suspended from “all university activities” until Oct. 21. The suspension comes after the student-led Committee on Student Organizations found the fraternity had violated sections of the code of conduct on three separate occasions.
The first occasion, which involved underage drinking by a female high school student, occurred on Nov. 4, 2017. According to the news release, the girl became incapacitated and was taken to the hospital for alcohol detoxification treatment.
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The student’s friends later reported that hospital staff found rohypnol, a powerful tranquilizer commonly used in cases of sexual assault and rape, in the girl’s system. The news release said there was no evidence the girl was sexually assaulted.
The second occasion occurred two weeks later and also involved instances of underage drinking. The Madison Police Department shut down a Theta Chi tailgate after fraternity members ignored police warnings about the size of the party and after an underage woman was found to be drinking alcohol.
In the third occasion, which occurred just two days later, a Theta Chi fraternity member was reported to have asked a woman to write “rush” and “chi” on her breasts and send him a photograph. According to the news release, the incident was reported to a Fraternity and Sorority Life staff member.
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Kevin Helmkamp, UW associate dean of students, said the university takes conduct violations “very seriously.”
“Theta Chi’s actions show that it has failed to ensure a safe and respectful environment for members of the campus community,” Helmkamp said. “The chapter will have to demonstrate a commitment to safety and to upholding campus and organizational values of respect and inclusion by completing the sanctions.”
The suspension prevents the fraternity from admitting a fall pledge class at the start of the fall semester this year and mandates fraternity members undergo workshops on “healthy and respectful” relationships and sexual consent.
Following the expiration of the suspension in Oct., the fraternity will be on “probation with alcohol restriction” until Nov. 25, which restricts the fraternity from serving alcohol at any of its functions.
Following the month-long probation with alcohol restriction, the fraternity will then undergo a year of general probation.
According to the news release, the fraternity could face penalties up to and including termination if it is found to have violated any parts of the code of conduct during its 8 month suspension and yearlong probation.
The fraternity has the right to appeal the decision, which was delivered to the fraternity today.