Fraternity at EWU receives 3-year suspension from national headquarters following hazing violations
Feb. 12, 2023 Updated Sun., Feb. 12, 2023 at 8:42 p.m.
Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity suspended the Washington Epsilon chapter at Eastern Washington University for three years for hazing violations. The university handed down its own punishment to the chapter last month.
Phi Delta Theta at EWU forced new members last fall to drink “large amounts of alcohol,” blindfolded them in an area forest and made them locate other pledges while blindfolded. The fraternity also made new members perform physical exercises for answering fraternity test questions incorrectly, according to public records provided by the university.
“Phi Delta Theta holds the safety of each member of the Fraternity, as well as the integrity of its members and its business in high regard,” said a statement released Friday by the Phi Delta Theta national headquarters. “The organization does not tolerate any actions that directly contradict the values and policies of the Fraternity and holds strict rulings against members and chapters that violate Fraternity expectations and the law.”
The statement said the suspension was “for violations of its risk management policies.”
“After receiving notification of potential violations of the risk management policies and a collaborative investigation with university partners, it was determined that a charter suspension and individual discipline would be necessary,” according to the statement. “Phi Delta Theta looks forward to working with Eastern Washington University and alumni to return to campus in 2026.”
EWU last month withdrew its recognition of the fraternity for the rest of the school year, which ends in June, according to a letter to the fraternity from Stacey Reece, director of the university’s Student Rights and Responsibilities office.
The university also placed the fraternity on a one-year probation starting in June, meaning the chapter could not host or participate in activities where alcohol is present.
“Obviously, this is something we have zero tolerance for and take seriously,” EWU spokesman Dave Meany said.
The investigation started in November when EWU police received a report of multiple hazing incidents during a pledge class for Phi Delta Theta, according to a police report.
Meany said no criminal charges are pending against the fraternity or its members.
The chapter accepted responsibility for the violations and did not appeal the sanctions the university imposed.
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