UF lifts sanctions on frat after appeal
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 5:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 5:01 p.m.
A University of Florida fraternity, which was accused of throwing an
unauthorized party that left one underage student vomiting into a roadside
trash can, has successfully appealed some sanctions that were levied
against it November.
UF's assistant vice president for student affairs will allow Phi Delta
Theta to recruit new members this semester, overturning a punishment
previously handed down by UF's Dean of Students office. Phi Delta Theta's
appeal was based on a claim that insufficient evidence had been provided to
demonstrate that any party ever took place.
The fraternity, commonly called Phi Delt, will still have restrictions
placed on social events. Phi Delta Theta will be permitted to throw one
social this semester with alcohol, but all other events must be dry,
according to the sanctions. The fraternity must also complete other
requirements, including the hosting of an alcohol risk management program
and participation in community service.
The case against Phi Delta Theta began when UF Police encountered two
intoxicated women, one of whom was vomiting, on campus Aug. 30. Both women
said they had attended a party at Phi Delta Theta's house that night,
according to the police report.
But UFPD officers never went to the fraternity house to confirm whether
there had been a party, according to Matt Helgeson, the chapter's
"No officers came to the house," he said. "We never even had a phone call
The police report makes no mention of officers contacting or visiting the
house, and Helgeson maintains the chapter "absolutely" didn't have a party
The initial recommendation for punishment came from UF's Greek Judicial
Board, a group made up of students in the Greek system. The board
determines guilt based on a "preponderance of evidence," a standard lower
than "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Chris Loschiavo, UF's assistant dean of students and director of student
judicial affairs, said he was convinced by the evidence that an
unauthorized party took place. But he added that "we've definitely had
cases that were much stronger."
The allegations against the fraternity came on the heels of another
incident where a fraternity member was accused of throwing a party at his
residence where new recruits were drinking. Fraternities and sororities are
not permitted to incorporate alcohol into recruitment events under Greek
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