Beta Theta Pi under investigation and placed on social suspension after discrimination allegations

The University, General Fraternity are carrying out separate investigations into the matter

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Beta Theta Pi fraternity is under investigation by U.Va. and its national chapter. Andrew Walsh | Cavalier Daily

Both the University and the national chapter of Beta Theta Pi are investigating U.Va.’s fraternity chapter after allegations of “blatant discrimination and violence” at a recent party held by Student Hip Hop Organization and I.M.P. Society at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house.

The fraternity has also been placed on social suspension — banning the group from holding social events — by the national chapter Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, due to violations of the fraternity’s substance-free housing policy. The policy prohibits alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other substances without appropriate prescriptions from Beta Theta Pi fraternity houses.

“The General Fraternity has placed the local chapter under social suspension after violations were found related to Beta Theta Pi’s substance-free housing policy,” national Beta Theta Pi Media Director Justin Warren told The Cavalier Daily in an email statement. “We continue to work closely with chapter advisors and house corporation volunteers to determine next steps in this regard.”

The University began an investigation into the event after the I.M.P. Society and Student Hip Hop Organization released a joint statement Oct. 30 alleging discriminatory actions that took place at a party hosted at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The fraternity then released a statement last Friday acknowledging the allegations and admitted to making poorly-planned decisions that “contradicted the intended spirit of the event.”

“The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is engaged in an ongoing investigation of the matter. The University does not comment on active investigations,” Deputy University Spokesperson Wes Hester said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily when asked about the fraternity.

While the University investigates the discrimination allegations, the General Beta Theta Pi Fraternity is carrying out its own investigation into the chapter’s violation of the fraternity’s substance-free housing policy. Since 2003, the national chapter began enforcing a substance-free housing policy for all chapters and aimed for all chapter houses to be completely substance-free by Aug. 15, 2020. 

“Simultaneously, the university continues its own investigation related to other allegations from last month’s event,” Warren said. “The General Fraternity values the long-held partnership between our organization and school officials, and awaits their findings and recommendations.”

Ashwanth Samuel, a data science graduate student and president of the Inter-Fraternity Council — a governing board which works with 30 fraternities at the University — said in an email that "The IFC acknowledges and respects both the decision by Beta's national officials and the University's investigation.” 

Representatives from U.Va.’s Beta Theta Pi chapter, the I.M.P. Society and SHHO did not return requests for comment. 

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