The fraternity has not been recognized by the UW since the beginning of fall quarter 2017 due to previous disciplinary issues.
A University of Washington fraternity’s charter has been revoked by its parent organization for violations that included “hazing in the form of physical beatings, forced consumption of alcohol, intimidation, forced servitude and more,” according to a letter from the international fraternity’s president.
The UW fraternity’s former president denies that any of those activities took place.
The fraternity, Delta Upsilon, has not been recognized by the UW since the beginning of fall quarter 2017 because of previous disciplinary issues, UW spokesman Victor Balta said. This year, the national organization became aware of additional membership issues and potential violations of fraternity policies, and conducted a membership review, Balta said.
Delta Upsilon’s violations were outlined in a letter dated June 28 by Robert Lannin, chairman of the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity board of directors. A copy was posted online.
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Kasey Truong, who served as president of Delta Upsilon’s UW chapter in 2017-18, called the issues that led to the loss of the chapter “extremely minor.” He said the fraternity’s troubles started when video of a new fraternity member drinking Champagne as part of a voluntary initiation ceremony in summer 2017 was picked up on Snapchat. The UW “saw that as hazing,” he said. “Pretty much having fun was hazing.”
Later, he said, somebody sent an anonymous letter to the university alleging other violations of the fraternity’s charter. “Anonymous letters rule,” he said. “You’re guilty until you’re innocent. It’s all about saving face now.”
The UW’s suspension of Delta Upsilon in the fall meant the fraternity was prohibited from holding social events, parties, exchanges or any other events of a social nature at the chapter house. Delta Upsilon was also prohibited from participating in sorority or fraternity sponsored philanthropic events, intramurals, and university services or programs.
The UW doesn’t have the power to pull a charter, or close a chapter, Balta said – that must be done by the international fraternity.
In his letter, Lannin said that “even after an emergency suspension was issued this spring, the chapter violated that suspension by continuing to hold events at the chapter house with alcohol.”
In a statement, Delta Upsilon Executive Director Justin Kirk said the charter had been revoked June 28 “for severe violations of Loss Prevention Policy, including hazing. Hazing has no place in our organization, and Delta Upsilon is committed to providing a safe, positive experience for members.”
The international fraternity’s board of directors held a June 18 hearing to discuss the alleged misconduct and policy violations, but the UW chapter did not respond or send a representative. The international fraternity is based in Indianapolis.
Truong said he disagreed with the way the international fraternity handled the case, believing it took too long to come to a decision. He said local alumni had been trying to shut the chapter down for a few years, and that before the academic year ended this spring, the undergraduate members decided to walk out of the chapter.
“So we walked out, and once we walked out, that’s when our international shut us down — just to save face,” he said. “We were completely innocent of the allegations we faced.”
The international fraternity will not consider reinstating the chapter until fall 2022, according to the letter, “contingent on the undergraduate men abiding by this decision and that no underground, secret or subversive chapter activities occur.”
On its website, the UW chapter described itself as “home to some of the friendliest, most charismatic, and most relaxed men in the Greek system.”