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Delta Tau Delta

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has ordered the Delta Tau Delta fraternity to cease its operations as it investigates an alleged hazing.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has ordered the Delta Tau Delta fraternity to cease its operations as it investigates an alleged hazing, administrators said Thursday.

A parent notified UNL on Monday their child had become ill after a weekend of drinking at the Delta Tau Delta chapter house, 715 N. 16th St., as well as at an undisclosed off-campus location.

According to the report, prospective new members of the fraternity were forced to drink alcohol beginning Thursday and continuing through Sunday, with at least one pledge being pushed to the point of vomiting.

Both UNL's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and the Delta Tau Delta national organization launched an investigation into the reported violations of the university's student code of conduct.

Hazing, according to the university's code, is "any activity by which a person intentionally or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health or safety of an individual for the purpose of" initiation or affiliation with a student organization.

Alcoholic beverages are also prohibited from UNL's campus as well as university housing. The student code of conduct also prohibits public intoxication or the possession of alcohol by any person under the age of 21.

No discipline has been meted out yet, according to UNL spokeswoman Deb Fiddelke, while the investigation is ongoing. There is no timetable for the investigation's completion.

While Delta Tau Delta has not yet been suspended, and is still a Recognized Student Organization on campus, the fraternity has been stripped of its student housing designation, which means freshman members cannot live in the chapter house.

Laurie Bellows, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, said the reports are "not consistent with our university values." She added UNL supports the national Delta Tau Delta fraternity in its investigation.

"The health and safety of our students is our primary concern and we take any allegations of hazing seriously," Bellows said in a statement. "The university has made abundantly clear what its expectations are and the consequences for failing those expectations."

In a statement, Jack Kreman, chief operating officer of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, said the UNL chapter will immediately cease its activities and that individual members will not be permitted to operate under the fraternity's name.

"We do not tolerate hazing and act swiftly and decisively when we learn of such behavior," Kreman said. "We are working closely with the University of Nebraska to reach an appropriate outcome, as the reported violations run contrary to the mission and values of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

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"We are grateful to the parent who alerted the university with their concern," Kreman added.

UNL's Delta Tau Delta chapter was founded in 1893 and has operated continuously since that time without any disciplinary action taken against them, the university said.

Phi Gamma Delta is the only other fraternity at UNL under suspension. FIJI, as it is commonly known, was suspended in March 2017 after UNL opened a Title IX investigation following reports that members had made sexually harassing comments to participants in a January 2017 Women's March.

UNL said a second investigation found alcohol consumption, hazing and inappropriate sexually based behavior was taking place in the fraternity. The suspension is scheduled to lift in 2020.

Another fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, was suspended by UNL and its national chapter until December 2018 after an investigation uncovered "problematic alcohol use" in its chapter house and off-campus parties.

Phi Kappa Psi has been reinstated, however, and holds a "provisional recognition" status, Fiddelke said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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Higher education reporter

Chris Dunker covers higher education, state government and the intersection of both.

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