Beta Theta Pi issues apology following allegations of discrimination at recent party

The statement addressed errors in event planning and execution, resolved to work with minority student groups moving forward

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The I.M.P Society and SHHO hosted a party Saturday night at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The organizations alleged in a public statement Tuesday that members of the fraternity were not in compliance with previously agreed upon terms for the event. 

Andrew Walsh | Cavalier Daily

The executive board of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity issued a statement Friday apologizing for being “unable to provide a welcoming space to all attendees” during a party hosted Oct. 27 by the I.M.P. Society and the Student Hip-Hop Organization at the Beta house. 

Public controversy over the party arose when several students alleged on social media that members of the fraternity had guarded entrances to the house throughout the duration of the party, implementing a system that controlled who was able to enter, despite the fact that the event was made public to the University student body on Facebook

Photos that circulated on social media also appeared to show several white men guarding the entrance to the party, creating what some people viewed as an unwelcoming environment for minority students in attendance. 

The I.M.P. Society and SHHO issued a joint statement on Oct. 30 addressing the alleged actions of several Beta Theta Pi members, saying that actions of these members were not in compliance with terms agreed upon by the I.M.P. Society, SHHO and the fraternity prior to the party. The statement additionally alleged that these actions were coupled with “blatant discrimination and violence” during the party. 

Beta Theta Pi’s statement addressed the allegations and acknowledged several errors that took place in planning and executing the party, including the prioritization of allowing friends of fraternity members to enter the party. 

“Our errors planning the event led to poorly dispersed and mixed groupings, a crowd at the door and on the main floor, and a decision not to admit additional guests into our building while brothers and their friends were still being admitted,” the statement reads. “These and actions taken by brothers who were not prepared to provide security at the door directly contradicted the intended spirit of the event.”

The statement went on to denounce the actions of the fraternity’s members who were accused of creating an exclusive and discriminatory environment at the party, saying that those members are under investigation by an “internal sanctioning committee.”

“We unequivocally denounce the actions of those individuals who may have contributed to the creation of an unwelcoming space,” the statement reads. “Therefore, our internal sanctioning committee and Administrative Office are actively investigating the behavior of these members with the intention of taking disciplinary action.”

The statement addressed that a “process of collaborative engagement” with student leaders the I.M.P. Society, SHHO and other minority student organization on Grounds is underway and that the fraternity “looks forward to continuing its participation” in these types of dialogues. 

Representatives for the I.M.P. Society and SHHO did not immediately return requests for comment Friday afternoon. 

A copy of  Beta Theta Pi’s full statement released Friday: 

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