Text of letter from Miami President David C. Hodge - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Text of letter from Miami President David C. Hodge

The following is the text of a letter sent to the Miami University community from President David C. Hodge:

Dear Miami University Community:

Following reports of misconduct by the Miami Chapter of Pi Beta Phi sorority, I am deeply disappointed to be notifying you of a second occasion involving another sorority whose members and guests displayed disrespectful and reckless behavior. This time, regrettably, the event occurred at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

Miami's chapter of Alpha Xi Delta sorority held a formal March 26 at the Freedom Center during which property was damaged, alcohol was consumed in violation of the venue contract and those in attendance acted in a disruptive disrespectful and destructive manner.

We are appalled and embarrassed by the behavior displayed by these students, especially in a place of such cultural and historical significance to our community. Upon receiving word from the Freedom Center of the students' behavior, I immediately called to apologize and express deep regret for the actions of these students. In addition, Alpha Xi Delta sent a letter of apology to the center. I am grateful to the staff of the Freedom Center, who has reached out to provide information and plan tours of the Center for these students so that they will understand the importance of the Center.

Miami has initiated disciplinary action against the sorority for its actions. Following an administrative hearing, Miami's Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution recommended sanctions including suspension of the sorority from all campus affiliation for two years. The sorority is appealing the findings and it may take several weeks before procedures are complete.

This event, when combined with the recent behavior of other Greek chapters here and elsewhere is cause for deep concern. The university has already begun to address behavioral issues within the Greek community of Oxford. While fraternities and sororities belong to national organizations, local chapters and their members and part of the Miami University community. As such, we hold them accountable for their actions. Acts such as these reflect badly on the Greek community, the student body, and the university as a whole. Such acts are intolerable.

Holding chapters accountable for their behavior is important and absolutely necessary, but it is not sufficient. We must identify and implement solutions that will deter such behaviors from ever happening. To that end, the university is implementing recommendations emphasizing appropriate behavior standards proposed by an external assessment panel in a review of the Greek system last fall. Included are expectations for bystander behavior and stricter accountability among Greek members.

Miami will conduct a thorough review of our policies and standards with the intent to significantly update requirements for Greek events and disciplinary procedures for the Greek community.

Make no mistake, the actions of these students are contrary to the values of Miami University, and contradictory to what is expected of responsible members of society.

While the problems of alcohol consumption and student group behavior are national problems, Miami is determined to make significant change. We intend to be a leader in addressing the negative behaviors in the Greek community and raising the bar for expectations pertaining to student conduct and self-discipline. We expect all Greek chapters to live up to their ideals, to be leaders and models for behavior both on campus and nationally. Anything less is unacceptable.

These recent incidents of negative behavior are deeply troubling and embarrassing. Working together with the Greek governing councils, chapter advisers, chapter membership, and the national organizations, we are determined to live up to our values.

 

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