LETTER: A letter from the CMU Chapter of Delta Chi to the CMU community
The brothers of the Delta Chi Fraternity would like to extend their deepest sympathies to victims of sexual assault and their families. We understand sexual assault is a violation of a person’s freedom, privacy, emotions, and livelihood. Members of Delta Chi exercise compassion and understanding in dealing with all people — it’s one of our basic expectations. Sexual assault is not tolerated by this fraternity.
Delta Chi’s suspension was issued for a violation of the alcohol policy, which included a violation of registered student organization and university regulations — no sexual assault charges were used in the suspension of the fraternity.
The social function mentioned in the article by Central Michigan Life occurred April 9th, 2013. The Office of Student Conduct notified the fraternity of an alleged sexual assault and alcohol violations on July 22nd. These allegations were dismissed by the Hearing Board on August 8th — 17 days later. It is important to note that based on the findings by the Hearing Board, Delta Chi was found not guilty of sexual assault.
CM Life has said we were negligent in taking responsibility and being forthcoming regarding the issue — this is simply untrue. Delta Chi has not spoken up against the allegation of sexual assault due to the reason that the allegation was dismissed. Because the fraternity was found not guilty, the Appeals Board never brought up the charge of sexual assault against the fraternity.
To the best of our knowledge, the Hearing Board had decided that the allegation of sexual assault did not hold weight in the case. As a result of the alcohol violations, we received a four-year suspension, a punishment that does not fit the crime.
At no point in the initial hearing in July, did the University bring up the fraternity’s past conduct other than the incident regarding the social function in April 2013. During the appeals process, the fraternity’s suspension was decided using conduct from the past 15 years as justification. By bringing up conduct dating back to 1998, it appears the University was in violation of Section 5.4.10 in the Student Code of Conduct, which states, “The Appeals Board makes its determination based solely on the record of the student's hearing, facts that are presented to the Appeals Board, and arguments before the Appeals Board. No additional witnesses, witness statements or other materials may be used in the appeal process.”
Based on the University policy, Delta Chi believes that an important right in procedural due process was violated and ignored. We appealed this to the University, however they felt that no such right had been violated.
The brothers of Delta Chi have not responded to these accusations in a malicious manner, and have had no involvement in any retaliation against the parties involved. In fact, Delta Chi is disappointed in the damaging attention that has been brought not only to Delta Chi, but to the Greek community as a whole.
Last year, the Greek community raised more than $22,200 during the 2013 Greek Week for the Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation. Annually, the CMU Greek community typically raises more than $90,000 for philanthropic causes including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research — the national philanthropy Delta Chi supports every year.
In the last five years, Delta Chi has raised more than $10,000 for philanthropy. The fraternity has put in more than 2,000 volunteer hours for social causes in the community, including Relay for Life, Special Olympics and the Humane Animal Treatment Society. For a fraternity whose culture is being called into question, we believe our philanthropic efforts speak to our commitment to being a positive influence in our community.
Our fraternity has never claimed to be perfect and free of all guilt. We just believe it is unfortunate that a false perception has been created with false information. With continued support from our National Headquarters, we remain operationally functional within the city of Mount Pleasant. We will continue to support this city, the university and the people in this community who have made us proud to call ourselves CMU Chippewas.
-The Brothers of Delta Chi Central Michigan Chapter