ZBT fraternity shutters University of Michigan chapter after hazing allegations
peterspiro/iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity said it is revoking its chapter at the University of Michigan, alleging members there violated multiple policies, including hazing.
The removal takes effect immediately, a ZBT spokesperson told ABC News. The Zeta Beta Tau page has already been taken down from the University of Michigan’s Greek life website.
Before its governing body voted to revoke the University of Michigan chapter, ZBT staff spent several months conducting a review with Michigan’s Greek life and student life offices, Zeta Beta Tau said in a press release Tuesday.
“Through the course of this investigation it became clear that members were violating various fraternity policies, including those which prohibit hazing,” ZBT said.
Kim Broekhuizen, associate director for public affairs at the university, told ABC News via email that ZBT had been removed from the University of Michigan in 2012, and in 2016 students “began the process of re-establishing the chapter.”
“The group was still in the ‘colony’ status this week when the ZBT national organization removed the group’s official recognition as affiliated with ZBT,” Broekhuizen said.
“The U-M Dean of Students Office is offering assistance to the affected students,” Broekhuizen added.
Zeta Beta Tau — the world’s first Jewish fraternity — is represented on about 90 campuses in North America, the organization said. Zeta Beta Tau said it was the first fraternity to ban pledging in 1989 “as a safeguard against hazing.”
“The actions of the brothers of the Colony at the University of Michigan violated our policies and acted in ways antithetical to our mission and values. Health and safety is a top priority of Zeta Beta Tau, and we are committed to facilitating a positive fraternity experience.”
The removal of ZBT comes after the University of Michigan’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) in November “enacted a self-imposed suspension on all social and new member activities after learning that some member chapters were not consistently living up to its expectations for high standards of conduct,” the IFC said.
The suspension was followed by an eight-week review “to identify necessary areas of improvement and develop reforms,” IFC said.
On Jan. 3, the IFC began its “phased process of restoring social event privileges,” which involves “chapters being notified of specific action plans they will need to complete.”
“It is expected that chapters will continue to pursue ongoing internal reviews of practices as they develop necessary reforms,” the IFC said. “These steps also will allow IFC chapters to foster more safe and inclusive environments for all University of Michigan community members.”
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