Sunday, February 22, 2015

Conduct Update: Delta Phi

On February 21, 2015 a University Committee on Discipline panel was convened to adjudicate the charges below:

1. Respect for Others D1 (Hazing)
2. Respect for Others F1 (Other Conduct)
3. Respect for Community A1 (False Information)
4. Respect for Community I1 (Posted Rules and Regulations)
5. Respect for Community J1 (Encouraging Others)
6. Respect for Self A1 (Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession)
7. Respect for Self B1 (Unhealthy Consumption)

As a result of that hearing, The Delta Phi Fraternity is dissolved effective February 21, 2015 through February 21, 2019. The Lehigh University Code of Conduct defines Dissolution as the loss of University recognition, the loss of privilege to use Lehigh University’s name, and the loss of privilege to represent the University in any capacity. Additionally the organization loses all privileges to use University equipment or facilities. Chapters are not guaranteed the privilege of reinstated recognition. Following the period of dissolution, Delta Phi will be eligible to apply for recognition upon approval of the next Interfraternity Council expansion process. Future expansion is dependent upon a number of variables including the University’s plans for adding recognized chapters in the future.

An investigation was conducted and the information in a spring 2011 new member educator notebook was corroborated by members of Delta Phi as having also occurred during the spring 2014 semester. The allegations include coerced consumption of alcohol, line ups, servitude, and restrictions on sleep, contact, and behavior as well as degrading actions taken towards new members.

Several members of Delta Phi, including chapter leadership, provided false information during the most recent investigation in the fall semester, as well as during the original investigation of the spring 2014 allegations.

After reviewing the information, the Committee on Discipline (comprised of students, faculty, and administrators) had the following finding(s) for the charges:

1. Respect for Others D1 (Hazing) -- Responsible
2. Respect for Others F1 (Other Conduct) -- Responsible
3. Respect for Community A1 (False Information) -- Responsible
4. Respect for Community I1 (Posted Rules and Regulations) -- Responsible
5. Respect for Community J1 (Encouraging Others) -- Responsible
6. Respect for Self A1 (Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession) -- Responsible
7. Respect for Self B1 (Unhealthy Consumption) -- Not Responsible

1. Respect for Others D1 (Hazing) -- Responsible

Hazing is any action taken or situation created, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Hazing includes but is not limited to any brutality of a physical nature, such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity that would subject the individual to physical harm or mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which would adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual. Among prohibited activities are forced or coerced activities which create excessive fatigue; cause physical and psychological shocks; involve kidnapping; involve morally questionable quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or any other such activities; involve publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; cause students to engage in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, or late night activities which interfere with scholastic activities. Also prohibited are any activities that are in violation of federal, state, or local laws, this Code of Conduct, or accepted standards of good taste or propriety. For purposes of this definition, any activity described in this paragraph upon which the admission into or affiliation with an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced or coerced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

Basis of Charge: The notebook and the subsequent testimony of the chapter members showed that the chapter engaged in events throughout their new member program that constitute hazing.

The Chapter provided alcohol to underage new members as a part of a "Big Brother / Little Brother" night.

The Chapter required that, on a rotating basis, one of the new members serve as SCB (“Senior Class Bitch”) each week. They were required to drive people to get food and run errands.

The Chapter held an event called "The Game" in which pledges were told there was a football game, but in fact the members trashed the house (threw food and garbage all over the house) and the pledges were made to clean it up.

The Chapter had meetings in which the pledges were required to kneel for a sustained period and recite facts and receive direction as to their required tasks for the upcoming week. The Chapter required new members to dress and look the same (be clean shaven etc.).

The Chapter required new members to do late night clean-ups of the house and were told they were not to communicate with others electronically during that time.

The Chapter required new members to carry certain items for the use of the brothers, including personal items such as condoms.

The Chapter dictated that new members were not allowed to use the main stairwell in the house.

The Chapter dictated that new members could only use certain bathrooms in the house.

The Chapter required new members to address brothers by first and last name only.

The Chapter required each new member to keep a notebook during new member education and the new member class was required to make sure that the notebooks were all the same.

The Chapter told new members to lie or provide incomplete information regarding new member education activities, especially if University administrators inquired about such activities. Members referred to new members in degrading terms such as "Bitch, Maggot, Fool"

2. Respect for Others F1 (Other Conduct) -- Responsible

F. Other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person or group of people. This would include, but is not limited to, the possession or storage of weapons, explosives, fireworks, or other materials that could be harmful to the members of the community or the community as a whole.

Basis of Charge:
The activities of the Chapters new member program including activities late at night, sleep deprivation, denial of social contact, threatened the health and safety of the new member class.

3. Respect for Community A1 (False Information) -- Responsible

Providing False Information:

  1. Intentionally furnishing false information to a university official, hearing panel, or Conduct Officer.

Basis of Charge: 
Over the course of the initial investigation in spring 2014 and the subsequent investigation it became clear that members of Delta Phi Fraternity knowingly and intentionally provided false information to investigators.

The chapter knowingly and intentionally provided a new member plan that had inaccurate and/or incomplete information regarding activities, goals, and purposes.

4. Respect for Community I1 (Posted Rules and Regulations) -- Responsible

I.                   Violating any Lehigh University policies, rules, or regulations, including but not limited to, residential living policies (General Provisions for Occupancy) and policies related to the use of the university computer network.

Basis of Charge:
The Chapter failed to provide an accurate and detailed new member plan to the University as required by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

The Chapter allowed at least one person to affiliate with their chapter knowing that they were not eligible to do so.

5. Respect for Community J1 (Encouraging Others) -- Responsible

J. Encouraging or facilitating others in actions that violate the Code of Conduct.

Basis of Charge:

The chapter provided alcohol to underage new members and encouraged them to consume that alcohol.

The chapter encouraged and allowed students who were not eligible to affiliate with the organization to "ghost pledge".

6. Respect for Self A1 (Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession) -- Responsible
7. Respect for Self B1 (Unhealthy Consumption) -- Not Responsible

  1. The unauthorized or illegal consumption, distribution, or possession of alcohol.

Basis of Charge:
The chapter provided alcohol to underage new members

  1. The consumption or distribution of alcohol in a manner detrimental to one’s health and safety (or the health and safety of others).

Basis of Charge:

Underage students were provided a bottle of alcohol to share with their big brother. This can reasonably be considered to constitute an environment where two people are encouraged to consume large quantities of hard alcohol.

The chapter is currently on deferred dissolution and by definition in the code further violations of the code result in dissolution. Furthermore the panel finds the events in question to be serious enough that the chapter should not be allowed to remain on campus. In addition, evidence has shown that this was not a one-time event and the panel remained unconvinced that current members/leaders can enact the change needed to ensure such events do not occur in the future. Finally, having a house on the hill is a privilege and the actions of this organization do not, at this time, show that they deserve to keep it.

At the hearing, the Delta Phi National Office presented a plan for recolonization of the chapter. This plan called for immediately moving all of undergraduate members to alumni status, and prohibiting them from participating in any future undergraduate activities regardless of the outcome of the hearing. Additionally, the National Office planned to remove the bulk of the chapter’s Alumni Corporation from their leadership positions.

The students currently living in the Delta Phi facility are permitted to remain in the facility for the rest of the semester. Lehigh staff will be conducting periodic walk-throughs of the facility. Additionally the facility is alcohol-free for remainder of the year: no alcohol is permitted in the facility including in the rooms of individual members regardless of their age. Lehigh’s Office of Residential Services will work to identify all available housing options for 2015-16. Lehigh has an on-campus residency requirement for all first and second year students. Upper class students were informed to register for the Residence Hall Upperclass Lottery. Residential Services will also assist in identifying off-campus housing for those upper class students not interested in living on campus next year. Housing questions should be forwarded to Residential Services at or (610) 758-3500.

Delta Phi Fraternity retains the right to appeal this decision, and the Office of Student Conduct & Community expectations has informed the fraternity leadership of the deadlines and process for appeals as outlined in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct (  If an appeal is submitted, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee will meet to make a determination.  If the appeal is denied, the conduct hearing outcome will be upheld.  If the appeal is granted, a new conduct hearing would occur.