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UPDATE: ATO files appeal to reverse university decision

Alpha Tau Omega’s Iota Phi chapter has filed an appeal, challenging Belmont’s decision to remove the university’s recognition of the fraternity.

On Monday, the fraternity received a letter from Belmont “notifying them that we would be permanently removing their recognition from the university,” said Provost Dr. Thomas Burns.

This decision followed an October investigation into the fraternity.

Burns could not comment on the details of the investigation but said ATO was “found to be in violation of several university policies related to community conduct and campus behavior for student organizations” and that “repeated violations of university policies over the last several years” factored into the decision.

ATO’s Iota Phi Chapter President Patrick Williamson confirmed that the fraternity filed the appeal Thursday at noon.

The reasons for submitting an appeal request, according to the Bruin Guide, are if a procedural error occurred during the investigation, new information that was not available during the investigation becomes available or a bias during the investigation affected the outcome.

The next step in the appeal process — if the request for an appeal is approved — is a 15-day period of review, according to the Bruin Guide.

After this period, the university will decide whether the decision to remove the fraternity’s recognition will stand or be reversed.

ATO national CEO Wynn Smiley said the fraternity is hopeful the decision will be reversed.

“We wouldn’t have filed the appeal if we weren’t hopeful,” he said.

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This article was written by Zach Gilchriest with contributing reporting from Harrison Baldwin.

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