Ohio State University Sorority Suspended Until 2016 After Alleged Hazing Incidents

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The Ohio State University chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been suspended until at least fall 2016.

According to OSU officials, the sorority violated the university’s code of conduct rules related to hazing.

Delta Sigma Thetas around the country just celebrated the sorority’s centennial this year. The organization has been part of student life at Ohio State for almost all of those 100 years.

The historically African-American sorority was founded in 1913 at Howard University.

They have no sorority house on the Ohio State campus. The group has more than 900 chapters in multiple countries.

Ohio State officials said due to privacy laws, they could not provide any specific details of what type of incident or incidents took place. They would confirm that it centered on hazing.

Alyssa Gutierrez is an Ohio State sophomore in the Chi Omega sorority. She says she can't imagine how the members of Delta Sigma Theta are feeling right now.

“It's that unity and that bond of being a strong organization on campus and having that tarnished by a hazing issue would be terrible,” said Gutierrez.

The Delta Sigma Theta sorority is one of nearly 70 fraternal organizations at Ohio State. The university has made it clear it will not tolerate hazing by any of those organizations

“The code of student conduct prohibits hazing and there are consequences for that action,” said David Isaacs, OSU Student Life.

The OSU Code of Student Conduct says acts of hazing "may include, but are not limited to, use of alcohol, creation of excessive fatigue, and paddling, punching or kicking in any form."

The Delta Sigma Thetas can petition for reinstatement in 2016.

“Their petition has to include a full plan of how they are going to come back, how they are going to not repeat this sort of behavior and assure that they are going to abide the code of student conduct,” said Isaacs, OSU Student Life.

The university said it continues to aggressively educate and crack down on hazing throughout the campus sorority and fraternity system.

No one from the OSU Delta Sigma Theta chapter was immediately available for comment.

The National Delta Sigma Theta Sorority released the following statement:

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a 100 year old service organization committed to providing assistance and support to the underserved. Women are invited to join our sisterhood because of their high moral character, academic excellence, professional achievements, and commitment to rendering positive and meaningful public service in their communities.

In remaining true to our noble ideals, beliefs, and commitment to uplifting and empowering women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority does not tolerate any form of hazing or any deviations from Delta’s approved Membership Intake Program. Any member or candidate who engages in or fails to report activities that violate Delta’s approved Membership Intake Program is subject to disciplinary action consistent with Delta’s Code of Conduct.

Upon receiving allegations of hazing at the Epsilon Chapter at The Ohio State University, Delta acted immediately to launch its own investigation, and it cooperated fully with The Ohio State University’s officials. Delta will continue to cooperate fully with any officials investigating the matter. Delta fully supports the University’s decision to suspend the Epsilon Chapter, and Delta has taken its own disciplinary actions against the chapter and the individuals involved, pursuant to its Code of Conduct.

Delta remains committed to its zero tolerance anti-hazing policy. Any form of hazing is antithetical to Delta’s mission and its programmatic thrust, which are designed to uplift women and communities throughout the country.

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