More than half of IFC fraternities in trouble in last five years, ten this semester
In the past five years, more than half of Ohio State’s Interfraternity Council organizations have been disciplined by the university.
Between 2017 and now, 37 fraternities have been IFC members. Of those 37 fraternities, 21 have been charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct and 11 have lost their status as student organizations, and therefore their status as members of the IFC. The IFC currently has 26 member fraternities.
Nine out of the 11 fraternities that lost their student organization status were cited for hazing. Of the nine, six also included endangering behavior citations, according to the disciplinary records. Some citations also included alcohol rules violations and other conduct violations.
A Monday update of the fraternity and sorority disciplinary records revealed the eight latest fraternities to be under investigation or put on disciplinary probation, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Delta Theta Sigma and Acacia.
Ryan Sheffield, IFC president and a third-year in business, said all of the organizations have been in contact with the Office of Student Conduct and are working to resolve these cases, including through meetings between student conduct and chapter leaders.
“The IFC has had a long standing relationship with the Office of Student Conduct and will continue to work with their office,” Sheffield said. Sheffield is a member of Phi Gamma Delta.
Reasons for these investigations and probations include hazing, endangering behavior, alcohol, drugs, student conduct system abuse, failure to comply with university or civil authority and violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws.
The Code of Student Conduct defines hazing as “doing, requiring or encouraging any act, whether or not the act is voluntarily agreed upon, in conjunction with initiation or continued membership or participation in any group, that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm or humiliation.” The code defines endangering behavior as taking or threatening action that jeopardizes the safety, health or life of a person or causes fear of such action.
The disciplinary record update comes after the reintroduction of anti-hazing legislation into the Ohio Senate March 10.
The bill, known as Collin’s Law — named after Collin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died in a hazing incident in 2018 — would increase the penalty for hazing from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree misdemeanor and, if involving drugs or alcohol, a third-degree felony.
The law was most recently introduced following the March 7 death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz in an alleged hazing incident with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, commonly known as PIKE. BGSU permanently banned PIKE from their campus.
The fraternities that have lost their student organization status between March 2017 and the time of publication include PIKE, Chi Phi, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Zeta Beta Tau, Theta Tau, Phi Kappa Psi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Alpha Mu and Tau Kappa Epsilon.
According to the disciplinary records, 2018 had the most incidents with 18. 2017 had the least with six from the beginning of the records in March until the end of the year. The lowest full year was 2020, which had nine incidents.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is on interim suspension pending an investigation into charges of endangering behavior, alcohol, drugs, failure to comply with university or civil authority and violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws. This is SAE’s sixth offense since Nov. 1, 2017 — and fifth including alcohol. Andrew Guagenti, president of SAE, declined to comment on the fraternity’s disciplinary records.
Beta Theta Pi is on disciplinary probation through May 2022 for failure to comply with university or civil authority, violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws and failure to comply with student conduct sanctions. This is the fraternity’s fourth offense since Oct. 20, 2017.
In past citations, Beta Theta Pi has been cited three times for alcohol and once for endangering behavior and hazing on separate occasions. Michael Shcharber, president of Beta Theta Pi, did not respond to a request for comment.
Fraternities have been a part of Ohio State’s campus since the late 1800s, and in the more than 100 years since their establishment, nothing has ever caused the university to remove a frat from campus — not even death.
Delta Tau Delta is barred from hosting any in-person events, pending an investigation of charges of failure to comply with university or civil authority and violating university rules or federal, state and local laws. This is the fraternity’s third investigation since 2018. Ethan Garee, president of Delta Tau Delta, did not respond to a request for comment.
Alpha Tau Omega is on interim suspension pending an investigation of charges of hazing, violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws, failure to comply with university or civil authority and student conduct system abuse, according to the disciplinary records. The fraternity has been cited three times since 2019, two of which happened this spring. Preston Rice, president of Alpha Tau Omega, did not respond to a request for comment.
Alpha Gamma Sigma is on interim suspension pending an investigation of charges of hazing and alcohol rules violations, according to the disciplinary record. The fraternity was placed on disciplinary probation from July 2019 through May 2020 for alcohol rules violations. Cody Tegtmeier, president of Alpha Gamma Sigma, declined to comment.
Phi Gamma Delta is on disciplinary probation through December for violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws and failure to comply with university or civil authority. The fraternity was under disciplinary probation from March to December 2017 for alcohol and hazing. Ben Harris, president of Phi Gamma Delta, did not respond to a request for comment.
Sigma Phi Epsilon is on disciplinary probation through December for failure to comply with university or civil authority and violation of university rules or federal, state and local laws. The fraternity was under disciplinary probation from February to December 2019 for alcohol violations.
Casey Petrae, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said in an email that current Sigma Phi Epsilon leaders are actively working with National Headquarters, alumni and university staff to learn from these instances.
“We are committed to providing a safe experience for members and guests at Ohio State and hold ourselves accountable to move our chapter forward,” Petrae, a second-year in finance, said. “We have done our due diligence in identifying our shortcomings and learning how to avoid these situations from arising again.”
Delta Theta Sigma is unable to host any in-person events, pending an investigation into charges of failure to comply with university or civil authority. Daniel Russell, president of Delta Theta Sigma, did not respond to a request for commend. This is the fraternity’s only offense since the beginning of the disciplinary records.
Acacia was placed on interim suspension Jan. 22 while under investigation of charges of endangering behavior, student conduct system abuse, failure to comply with university or civil authority and violating university rules or federal state and local laws. Konstantinos Kantas, president of Acacia, did not respond to a request for comment.
University spokesperson Dave Isaacs said in an email that Greek life organizations are expected to follow university and legal guidelines.
“It is the intent of the university to uphold the Code of Student Conduct, to promote the education and development of students and to provide a framework for future success of student organizations,” Isaacs said.
Of the 26 remaining IFC organizations, 15 have not been in trouble. These fraternities include Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Alpha Sigma Phi, Delta Sigma Phi, FarmHouse, Kappa Delta Rho, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Sigma Kappa, Pi Lambda Phi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Tau Gamma, Theta Chi, Theta Xi and Triangle.
CJ Johnson, president of Alpha Kappa Lambda, said in an email his chapter makes a weekly effort to ensure members are educated and updated on current university policies and events.
“I’d like to think this helps our members stay grounded and focused on what we are here at OSU to do— focus on academics while still forging amazing connections and bonds with our brothers,” Johnson, a third-year in sociology, said. “We in Alpha Kappa Lambda aim to work on chipping away the negative stereotypes surrounding Greek life, which also ensures our members are focused on maintaining these standards of excellence consistently.”
Alec Ogg, president of FarmHouse and a third-year in environmental science, said in an email his fraternity has internal processes that hold members accountable to the standards of following all laws, rules and regulations.
Ryan Jaeckin, president of Phi Sigma Kappa, said in an email his fraternity stresses the importance of membership safety through programs and education sessions offered by the university.
“The Pi Deuteron chapter looks forward to continuing our strong relationships with the Sorority and Fraternity Life Office and our International Headquarters, as well as being an integral part of Greek life at Ohio State,” Jaeckin, a fourth-year in music education, said.
President of Theta Chi John Gardner, President of Pi Lambda Phi Alex Arenschield and President of Theta Xi David Guzior declined to comment.
Presidents of the remaining fraternities did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.