Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Education

UF fraternity suspended until 2021

The University of Florida becomes the latest school to suspend a fraternity for alleged incidents involving alcohol and drug use.

In December, Heather White, UF’s interim dean of students, sent the university’s chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi a three-page-letter recommending a four-year suspension from Dec. 7 to Dec. 17, 2021.

The chapter was accused of violating five student conduct codes, including serving alcohol to minors, illicit drug possession and use and an incident in which several intoxicated people were sent to the hospital. Also, the letter cited the fraternity for causing more than $3,000 in damages to a hotel while on a weekend trip to New Orleans in September.

All residents of the chapter have until Jan. 31 to vacate the fraternity house. The chapter has 147 active members currently enrolled at UF.

According to the letter, which was sent to the Miami Herald by John Hines, UF’s coordinator of media affairs, the school made the decision to suspend the fraternity for several reasons. Among them: The chapter had previously been placed on deferred suspension twice due to violation of the student conduct code, including a 2008 violation when campus police found 36 pledges kneeling shirtless on the floor of the fraternity’s basement.

In addition, many fraternity members, including chapter leadership, were involved in the previous behaviors that violated University of Florida policies.

The four-year suspension means Tau Epsilon Phi will not be recognized as an active part of the UF community and cannot participate in any school functions.

The suspension follows similar actions at Florida International University, which suspended the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in October 2017 after connecting the Greek organization to a series of leaked screenshots of a group chat. The images showed what appear to be multiple non-consensual nude images of women, references to pedophilia, anti-Semitic and rape jokes, drug sales and insensitive comments about a sorority member who died last summer.

In December, FIU President Mark Rosenberg suspended all Greek life for at least a month starting in January over “growing concerns” about Greek life at FIU and on other college campuses. These references included the November death of Florida State University Pi Kappa Phi pledge Andrew Coffey, 20, a Pompano Beach High School grad who was found unresponsive after attending a frat party.

Two University of West Florida fraternities were suspended in November. The Tau-Psi chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was suspended for a minimum of five years, and the Nu Eta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was temporarily suspended, over hazing activities. The school is in Pensacola.

Texas State University also suspended its Greek chapters in 2017 after the death of a Phi Kappa Psi pledge at an off-campus apartment.

Romy Ellenbogen, investigations editor with The Alligator, the University of Florida’s independent student newspaper, reported the suspension Tuesday and tweeted a copy of the disciplinary letter.

 

UF’s Tau Epsilon Phi chapter has until Jan. 22 to appeal the decision. The fraternity will have to work with the school to determine when, and if, it will be allowed to resume after the four-year suspension period.

Comments
New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For starters, it...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed ne...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18
School board races attract new faces

School board races attract new faces

TAMPA — When long-time Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes resigned this month from the board to run for the State House of Representatives, the decision affected more than just her seat in west Hillsborough’s District 1.It also coul...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

TAMPA — Money that the Hillsborough County School District needs to build schools and replace air conditioners might be farther from reach, thanks to a new state law and a bureaucratic process required before the voters can decide on a tax referendum...
Published: 06/14/18
University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

The University of Chicago will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from U.S. students, sending a jolt through elite institutions of higher education as it becomes the first top-10 research university to join the test-optional movement.Numerous school...
Published: 06/14/18
Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano presented to the School Board Tuesday nearly $53 million worth of budget priorities, asking them to choose which will be funded in the upcoming school year.The board voted 3-2 later Tue...
Published: 06/13/18
UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

The University of Tampa’s MFA program will host the June 2018 Residency Visiting Writers Lectores Series that runs from now until June 21 on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Each reading will be held at 7:30 p.m.Each January ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18