University chapter of Zeta Beta Tau has national recognition revoked
Update: This article has been updated to include a statement from the University chapter of ZBT
Zeta Beta Tau’s International Headquarters voted to remove recognition of the University of Michigan’s Eta chapter on Tuesday.
According to an official statement from the organization, ZBT staff, along with the University’s Office of Greek Life and Division for Student Life, conducted an extensive membership review to determine the future of the chapter.
“Through the course of this investigation it became clear that members were violating various Fraternity policies, including those which prohibit hazing,” the statement read.
ZBT International leadership ended the pledging process in 1989 in an effort to prevent hazing.
The actions of the brothers of the Colony at the University of Michigan violated our policies and acted in ways antithetical to our mission and values,” the statement read. “Health and safety is a top priority of Zeta Beta Tau, and we are committed to facilitating a positive fraternity experience.”
This decision follows the recent reinstatement of social activities by the Interfraternity Council following a two month long self-imposed ban. The committee voted to suspend all social events following multiple hazing and sexual assault allegations involving fraternity brothers. Twenty-seven fraternities, including ZBT, were given specific action plans in order to regain their social privileges.
A statement obtained by The Daily, on behalf of the Michigan chapter of ZBT, confirms the members were given an action plan and were willing to work with the IFC to make necessary changes. The revoking of their official charter came as a complete surprise to chapter.
“We were given sanctions and a rehabilitation plan by the normal IFC process and the university, we were fully willing to abide by those sanctions, then were blindsided by this decision from ZBT national,” the statement read. “The reasoning we were given was minimal, and was certainly a culmination of unreasonable ongoing frustration between national and us.”
The IFC worked with the Office of Greek Life to review fraternity guidelines for social events and develop a reformation process. Some changes include the removal of hard alcohol from IFC events and limiting social activities to specific days of the week.
University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen confirmed in an email correspondence the decision to revoke the national was made by ZBT’s headquarters.
“Yes, the university is aware of the situation and the Dean of Students office is working with the students,” Broekhuizen wrote.
ZBT’s Eta chapter was shut down in 2012 following a claim from the fraternity headquarters that the University chapter had become an “unsafe environment.” An anonymous member at the time told The Daily these claims were not substantiated. ZBT was removed from the IFC in 2006, but remained on campus as an official chapter of ZBT International. The chapter had been expelled for violating their one-year suspension by recruiting new members. ZBT had also been suspended once before in 2000 for a hazing incident that resulted in a pledge being burned by bleach.
According to the chapter’s Facebook page the University’s Eta chapter was “re-colonized” in 2016. The chapter was an official member of the University’s Interfraternal Council inducting its first pledge class in February 2016.
Check back at michigandaily.com for more updates.