The Delta Upsilon International Fraternity has suspended its MIT chapter until spring 2016, MIT announced Wednesday. MIT has also withdrawn recognition of the fraternity’s chapter as an independent living group.
The suspension, effective immediately, follows “an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior during unsanctioned events over IAP,” according to the press release from MIT’s Division of Student Life.
The president of the Technology Chapter did not return The Tech’s calls. MIT’s Division of Student Life was unable to give more details about the suspension before press time.
“We support DU International’s decision, and are disappointed in the choices and circumstances that led to the suspension of Technology Chapter,” Chris Colombo, the dean for student life, said in the Wednesday statement. “If DU International seeks to recolonize after the suspension, we would be open to supporting their efforts provided they meet certain conditions.”
Justin Kirk, the executive director of DU International, said in a statement Thursday: “The actions and decisions of these men were incongruent with the mission and values of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Our mission is to build better men through our four founding principles of Friendship, Character, Culture, and Justice. Unfortunately, this was not happening in our Technology Chapter.”
DU International’s investigation followed a preliminary investigation by MIT, which was prompted by an allegation reported to DSL, according to Haldun Anil ’15, the president of MIT’s Interfraternity Council.
Members of the Technology Chapter had met with investigators from DU International and were aware of the investigation, Anil said.
“It was the national chapter making the decision, then informing MIT, and then MIT supporting it, from the emails I saw,” Anil added. “The IFC was never involved in the judicial processes.”
Anil said that according to an email he had received, it was DSL’s policy to respect the decisions of a fraternity’s international organization.
When the MIT chapter of Phi Beta Epsilon was suspended in 2010, MIT and the IFC cited hazing as the reason. No such specific reason has been provided to The Tech yet in the DU case.
“The main reason that the situation was different this time around is because last year we updated our judicial committee bylaws such that certain situations are no longer in the purview of JudComm,” Anil said. “This allowed the FSILG office to act first, so it never came to the IFC.”
Article II of the JudComm bylaws states that, in most cases, the Committee on Discipline will handle cases involving “hazing, sexual misconduct, serious injury, or death.”
In an email to fraternity members Thursday, Anil wrote: “I urge the community to refrain from speculating about the possible causes of this action. Though this decision and its consequences ultimately affect all of our community, we must respect the privacy of the men of Delta Upsilon as they navigate through this difficult time.”
Any reconstitution of the DU chapter must exclude current members, according to MIT’s press release. Current members, including freshmen, are now officially alumni of the fraternity, but they are prohibited from hosting events or doing business as Delta Upsilon.
Anil said, “From an MIT perspective and the national chapter’s perspective, since they are alumni of the organization, they are still considered affiliated with the organization, but they are not allowed by MIT and IFC policy to rush any other fraternities on campus.”
MIT has revoked the rights of the chapter as a student group to reserve rooms on campus or register events.