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University of Michigan chapter of Zeta Beta Tau shut down by national headquarters

Jan 10, 2018

Reported incidents of hazing at the University of Michigan chapter of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity prompted the fraternity’s international headquarters to revoke the chapter’s charter in a vote Tuesday, according to The Michigan Daily.  

The vote comes after a months-long investigation between ZBT staff, the University’s Office of Greek Life, and the Division for Student Life. It also comes just under a week after the University’s Interfraternity Council restored social privileges to its member fraternities.

In November, a student body made up of presidents of several campus fraternities voted to self-impose a ban on all IFC fraternity social activities amid claims of hazing, sexual assault, and upwards of 37 hospital transports for alcohol abuse during the fall semester.

In an effort to combat hazing, ZBT headquarters banned the “pledge” process in 1989. The common Greek life practice involves hazing new members before they are officially initiated.  

This marks the second time the University’s ZBT charter was shut down by its national governing body. The chapter was in the process of reestablishing itself on campus after having previously been shut down in 2012, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told MLive.

The shut down of ZBT at the University comes amid a national rethinking of Greek life and hazing on college campuses. Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and Texas State University placed suspensions on Greek life activities this past year following the hazing-related death of a fraternity pledge at each school. Penn State University placed new regulations on Greek life and suspended some fraternities after the hazing death of Timothy Piazza last February.