EDITORIAL: Booted: Delta Chi leaves a black eye on Greek community

After months of investigation and waiting on internal reports to become available, we finally have a more complete understanding of the suspension of Delta Chi – and what we learned was despicable.

In August, the fraternity was charged with several violations of the Office of Student Conduct’s code of conduct, stemming from a party in April. Ultimately, the fraternity was found in violation of alcohol-related allegations. However, we now know details of more disturbing behavior.

The alleged violations include improper conduct, harassment and intimidation. Emails and university documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request also revealed a history of bad behavior.

FOIA allows citizens to gain access to public records so they can see how the government operates and forms its decisions. The intention behind the story published in Monday's edition was to help explain the investigation that Delta Chi and the university went through before the four-year suspension was handed down.

Until then, neither the university or Delta Chi had shed any light on the accusations.

According to the Office of Student Conduct, Delta Chi received disciplinary action in ‘98, ‘99, ‘00, ‘02, ‘04, ‘05, ‘09, ‘11 and '12. The accusations ranged from sexual assault, hazing and alcohol violations.

These documents expose a handful of Delta Chi members as both irresponsible and a danger to themselves and those around them.

Most fraternities and sororities represent active, beneficial members of the community. We recognize this particular fraternity does not represent other Greek organizations, though the string of Delta Chi incidents and failure to act proactively doesn't help combat the stereotypes associated with Greek life.

For more than a decade, Delta Chi has been sanctioned and reprimanded for its behavior. Why has CMU tolerated this behavior for so long?

Worse yet, the lack of communication over what was investigated over the past months is alarming. No representatives from the CMU Delta Chi chapter or from the university have been forthcoming regarding the issue. 

Only citing violations of alcohol-related fraternity policies and lacking specificity, Delta Chi was negligent in their responsibility to step up and come clean regarding these issues of misconduct. This story could have been about the behavior of one of its brothers, explaining the incident and how it was corrected.

Instead, they chose not to take responsibility for something that happened within their own house. The chapter chose to file a series of appeals claiming their punishment was too severe. They also claimed their case was handled improperly.

By choosing not to address the allegations against their chapter and take corrective action, Delta Chi not only failed its brothers and its fellow Greeks, but the CMU community as a whole.

The chapter's reach for public sympathy paired with the lack of information regarding the suspension is unacceptable. The community deserves to know how this fraternity treats students.

Regardless of the lack of transparency, Delta Chi’s punishment has been finalized and only time will tell if the four-year suspension will finally redirect the culture put in place by the fraternity over the course of the last 15 years.


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