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Phi Delta Theta no longer officially recognized on campus

By Ashley Burton and Katie Serena

Belmont University’s Phi Delta Theta chapter is no longer recognized as a fraternity on Belmont’s campus after it violated the university’s Hazing and Substance Free Community policies.

“Belmont University’s Office of Student Activities has determined that the Phi Delta Theta fraternity has violated established Code of Conduct policies for organizational activity, including the Hazing and Substance Free Community policies,” said Dr. Becky Spurlock in an official statement. Spurlock currently serves as interim associate provost and dean of students.

“As a result of these violations and the organization’s past conduct history, the fraternity will no longer be recognized by the university,” Spurlock wrote in her statement.

According to Belmont’s Anti-Hazing policy, hazing is defined as “any reckless or intentional act, occurring on or off campus, that produces physical, mental, or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, or ridicule directed toward other students or groups.”

The specific infractions have yet to be confirmed and due to the broad nature of the anti-hazing policy, it is unclear what the actual infractions were. The infractions could range from anything as minor as “interference with academic pursuits,” to as severe as “pressure or coercion of another to consume any legal or illegal substance,” according to the anti-hazing policy.

Hazing is also prohibited under Tennessee state law.

The announcements arrived during National Hazing Prevention week, which began Sept. 23 and continues through Sept. 27.

Belmont’s Substance-free Campus Policy is also broad. Violations range from complicity to intoxication. The university definition of substance abuse includes the use of alcohol or drugs.

Prior to the release of Spurlock’s statement, Phi Delta Theta president, Brock Fuller, released an official statement on behalf of the fraternity.

“Phi Delta Theta is committed to the vision and mission of the university and will do everything in its power to regain recognition in order to serve the Belmont community in the best way possible,” Fuller said in his statement.

Clay McCullough, Interfraternity Council president, has said IFC “will not be speaking on the subject at this time.”

While Belmont no longer recognizes Phi Delta Theta as a fraternity on campus, the national headquarters has not revoked the charter for the organization. Only Phi Delta Theta national headquarters has the authority to revoke a charter, said Jonathan Rogowski, the Phi Delta Theta chapter service representative.

Vision staffers Autumn Allison, Katie Greene, Kelly Brickey and Sam Denlinger contributed to this report. 

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