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Miami University Enforces New Rules To Prevent Fraternity Hazing

The sun rises on Harrison Hall on the campus of Miami University.
File photo
Harrison Hall on the campus of Miami University.

New rules aimed at preventing fraternity hazing have taken effect at Miami University in Ohio where a student recently reported being beaten and forced to drink excessive amounts of alcohol in a fraternity hazing.

A university incident report stated last month that the student complained of being blindfolded and abused during a March 16 "hazing ritual." The student said he was taken to a hospital after saying he felt like he was "going to die."

The university's Delta Tau Delta fraternity chapter was suspended and both school officials and Oxford police launched an investigation in the wake of the report, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reported. The national Delta Tau Delta fraternity has said it is working with the university to investigate.

Miami officials announced last year that they had created changes in fraternity rules that were to go effect this spring. Those changes started this week as students returned from spring break.

The rules include requirements related to training and pledging periods, among other changes.

"Fraternities will need to have new members complete online training courses on leadership and accountability. And groups will complete a new-member period in four weeks (down from eight)," according to a statement released by Miami University officials in December.

The school also is requiring fraternities to have live-in house directors beginning this fall in order to obtain the exemption allowing sophomores to live in fraternity housing.

The directors are expected to be hired by August and will oversee property and events and provide general oversight to college fraternity chapters, school officials said. The fraternities' national organizations will work with local chapters to hire them, according to Miami officials.

Various groups which helped last year in creating the new rules included alumni, chapter advisers, Greek life and Student Life staff and Inter-fraternity Council student leaders, according to Jayne Brownell, vice president for Student Life.