Six Greek life chapters suspended after ski resort vandalism

Courtesy of Barry Owens
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By Anastassios Adamopoulos, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 26, 2015

After several University Greek life chapters reportedly caused damage at two Michigan ski resorts, six Greek life chapters reportedly involved — the University’s chapters of Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Delta Tau, Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi, Chi Psi and Delta Gamma — have now been suspended by their national chapters, according to a University release.

The Sigma Alpha Mu chapter, which stayed at the Treetops Resort with members from Sigma Delta Tau, was suspended last week by their national organization.

In a statement released Saturday, three student leaders published an open letter apologizing for the events and promising action to hold those involved accountable.

CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy junior; Interfraternity Council President Alex Krupiak, an LSA senior; and Panhellenic Association President Maddy Walsh, a Business junior, authored the letter to apologize for the behavior of these organizations.

“This terrible incident has been widely publicized across the nation, and rightly so: it was an act of shocking disrespect,” the letter said. “We, as leaders and Greeks at the University of Michigan, do not tolerate these kinds of acts, nor do we let such behavior fall under the radar. We intend to handle this situation with the utmost efficiency, and we will ensure that those responsible for the damage to the properties will be held accountable throughout this process.”

The two resorts that suffered the damages were Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Mich., and Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Mich.

Treetops Resort manager Barry Owens said Friday the damages would likely total between $85,000 and $100,000.

In the letter, the three student leaders note that those responsible will be held accountable and will make amends for their behavior.

“We will work to restore the good balance of our affiliates, and we will be looking for ways to begin repairing our relationship and trust with each resort as well as the communities in northern Michigan,” the letter said.

The Michigan State Police is conducting an investigation on the events. Owens also said the resort plans to press charges and is awaiting the recommendation of the Michigan State Police to the prosecutor.

Both the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association are carrying out a review of the incidents.

University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said the University Office of Greek Life is in communication with the local and national chapters of the Greek organizations involved. The Dean of Students Office has also been in contact with the two resorts that were damaged.

Fitzgerald said the implications of a suspension vary by national organization.

“This gives us the time and space to continue to gather facts and make sure that we understand the details of the incident very clearly,” he said. “It’s more important to make sure we get the right information and move forward following our established processes than to do it by a specific deadline.”

Sam Bessey, executive director of the Chi Psi fraternity, said the University’s chapter can still live in the house, however while on suspension their social activities will be restricted.

Bessey did not provide a definite duration or timeline for the chapter's suspension.

“The purpose of the suspension is to gives us an opportunity to investigate further and determine the best course of action,” Bessey said. "Once we have done that we will move forward in the way we feel is most appropriate.”

Representatives for both the local chapters and national organizations of Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Delta Tau, Alpha Phi and Delta Gamma could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.