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Phi Delt's appeal for charter denied

The General Council of Phi Delta Theta fraternity has suspended the University chapter's charter for violating its risk-management policies.

The General Council is the board that governs the national actions of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

According to Bob Biggs, Phi Delta Theta executive vice president, the action "officially closes" Phi Delta Theta on Grounds.

The charter was suspended in May.

The risk-management policy is a set of guidelines governing the actions and behavior of all chapters. The policy addresses abuse and hazing, alcohol, drugs, high-risk events that expose members, guests or property to injury or damage, and transportation to and from events not held at the chapter house.

Neither national nor chapter representatives would confirm which section of the policy was violated.

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  • Phi Delta Theta Homepage

    "We conducted our own investigation and found the chapter had violated many risk management policies," Biggs said.

    The chapter appealed the suspension, claiming that Phi Delta Theta nationals did not conduct a "proper and thorough" investigation, but Biggs said the appeal was not granted.

    "The General Council did not follow the process in their statutes for proper investigation of a chapter," chapter President Brendan Dignan said. The Council "used double and triple hearsay and never interviewed any of us or alumni" during the investigation.

    The University Judiciary Committee and the Inter-Fraternity Council Judiciary Committee investigated the University's Phi Delt chapter in the fall for hazing allegations.

    In a late fall trial, the UJC revoked Phi Delta Theta's Fraternal Organization Agreement after finding it guilty of violating Standards One and Nine of the Standards of Conduct. Phi Delt appealed that decision, and the Judicial Review Board ruled the sanction was too harsh and instructed the UJC and Phi Delt to mediate a new sanction. Dignan declined to comment whether a new sanction was agreed on.

    Standard One prohibits physical and sexual assault and Standard Nine prohibits violation of University policies or of University regulations as described in The Record, including regulations concerning the use of University facilities.

    Phi Delt was convicted by the UJC of violating Standard One by depriving pledges of sleep. It also was convicted of violating terms of the FOA, a Standard Nine violation.

    The FOA is a document that establishes a fraternity's relationship with the University and the IFC.

    Harry Marshall, president of the University's Phi Delta Theta Housing Corporation, said he and other alumni stand fully behind the current brothers and leadership in the house.

    "Myself and the Housing Corporation feel very strongly the members of the fraternity are honorable individuals and they should continue as part of the national fraternity," Marshall said.

    Phi Delta Theta's national organization hopes to recolonize the chapter at a later date, Biggs said. "We hope someday Phi Delta Theta will be able to return to establish the Virginia Beta chapter."