February 28, 2018
Martin Cobb, Director of Communication
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Closes Chapter at Washington and Lee University
OXFORD, OHIO, February 28, 2018 – Beta Theta Pi is disappointed to announce the closure of the Fraternity’s Alpha Rho Chapter at Washington and Lee University, effective immediately.
The decision to suspend the Alpha Rho charter comes after the General Fraternity and university received complaints of hazing within the chapter’s pledge education program. Following multiple investigations conducted in cooperation with Washington and Lee – each met by resistance and a lack of transparency from the chapter – the Fraternity has substantiated these allegations, discovering a systemic culture of hazing that includes physical intimidation, acts of servitude and the compelled consumption of concoctions intended to cause nausea. Such offenses are in clear and direct contradiction of the values upheld as brothers of Beta Theta Pi.
“Although the campus interfraternity council imposed sanctions for the chapter’s transgressions, the Fraternity sees no demonstrated system of or inclination toward accountability within Alpha Rho, inspiring little faith that such directives would inspire true, long-term change,” said Fraternity General Secretary S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73. “Let there be no misunderstanding, Beta Theta Pi will not condone hazing by any chapter, at any time, on any campus. The choice is clear and the Fraternity’s position is unequivocal.”
The historic Alpha Rho Chapter at Washington and Lee University was founded in 1856 and recolonized in 2008, and was home to 78 undergraduate members and pledges at the time of closure. The Fraternity and university have agreed to explore an opportunity for Beta Theta Pi to return to campus as early as fall 2022. Until that time, the chapter’s charter will remain suspended and in the care of the Board of Trustees.
Beta Theta Pi is a college fraternity committed to developing men of principle for a principled life. Founded in 1839, today Beta serves more than 10,000 undergraduate members on 137 campuses across North America, 130,000 living-alumni members and 1,800 volunteers. The Fraternity’s Administrative Office is located near its founding site at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Justin Warren, Director of Media Relations & Senior Writer
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity