University investigates fraternity

by Chris Cole

The Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity is making its best bid to clean up its act by presenting evidence of reform to administrators for review.

For the past few years, ZBT has been piling up community standards violations, for alcohol, vandalism and significant damage to the fraternity house, resulting in the organization being almost perennially on probation.

The troubled past had led to an investigation, headed by Dean of Students Anthony Campbell, leading into the matter that will result in a decision regarding ZBT’s future.

Campbell presented the investigation’s findings to ZBT Oct. 26 and has given the fraternity until Nov. 9 to respond and submit additional documents.

“We wanted them to respond before we make a decision,” said Campbell. “I gave them all of our investigation results. It definitely could lead to the removal of their
charter.”

The fraternity has been on and off probation for the past four years, once for bringing a keg onto campus a few years ago, said Director of Greek Life Ada Badgley.

On July 19, ZBT had a show and cause hearing to explain why it deserved to be an active fraternity on campus. Administration gave the organization a list of changes it needed to make, according to Badgley. Some of the changes demanded of ZBT included reducing dorm damage costs, committing fewer community standards violations and creating an active alumni board.

When ZBT allegedly violated several community standards on the weekend of Sept. 29 a cease and desist order was issued on Oct. 1 “to stop all staff operations,” said Badgley.

A cease and desist order is a judicial remedy issued in order to prohibit a party from continuing activity. Katie Guerrierie house director and program coordinator in the Office of Greek Life said the fraternity was prohibited from giving out bids, conducting new member or doing anything to improve its image on campus.

The alleged Sept. 29 fight incident involving member John Goodleaf and campus guest Andrew Endicott did not have anything to do with ZBT going under the investigative scrutiny. The investigation began much earlier in July, according to Campbell. He said the decision to review the fraternity was because of “corporate actions not that of one individual.”

“The investigation of ZBT is now about giving ZBT a chance to respond to the documentation,” said Campbell.

The dean said the investigation was based on a wide range of different sources and not just the organization’s probation records.

“Documents submitted to me for review came from accounts from Badgley, judicial records, financial records (residence hall damages), and doing fraternity letters in the past,” said Campbell.

Badgley hoped a final decision regarding the fate of ZBT could be reached in two weeks — or at least sometime this semester.

Campbell noted that although he’s giving ZBT a chance to respond to the investigation’s results and provide additional documents, it is still possible the fraternity’s charter could be removed.

“We’re going to make a honest decision,” he said.

Junior Matt Weinshenker, president of ZBT, declined to comment on the investigation’s circumstances after several attempts by The Rider News.

— Additional reporting by Paul Szaniawski

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