Phi Delta Theta taken off probation, will resume campus activities

MTSU’s Phi Delta Theta chapter was taken off disciplinary probation Thursday, allowing the fraternity to resume social activities on and off campus.

Tennessee Eta, which was founded in December 2012, was put on disciplinary probation last August on account of violating eight university policies including hazing, drugs, alcohol and failure to cooperate with institutional officials. Phi Delta Theta International Headquarters also placed the chapter on probation around the same time and dismissed members whose behavior “was contrary to Phi Delta Theta’s values.”

An August 2016 report from the Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services detailed violations discovered during the four months the chapter was under investigation by MTSU, which involved “a wide range of hazing,” “reports of cocaine and acid use among brothers” and “widespread” underage drinking.

In the year since Tennessee Eta was first put on probation, the chapter has “developed a stronger-than-ever working relationship with FSL,” according to Drake Uselton, the chapter president.

During their disciplinary period, Phi Delta Theta was required to create a three to five year chapter improvement plan with Leslie Merritt, the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, according to a report from the MTSU Office of Judicial Affairs and Meditation Services.

“The chapter is turning many of their sanctions into standard operating procedure such as hosting educational programming during chapter meetings, having advisors attend events throughout the year, upholding their newly created judicial board procedures and following an updated and nationally-approved new member education program,” Merritt said.

Merritt said FSL conducts “biweekly meetings with the chapter’s leaders to ensure that policies and rules are understood and followed.”

The chapter intends to continue these meetings with FSL “and seek their guidance as much as possible,” Uselton said.

Uselton said the chapter looks forward to participating in on-campus activities again.

This semester we are looking forward to participating in Fight Song, homecoming, and bringing in a well-rounded group of new members that understand and embrace the new culture that is Phi Delta Theta,” he said.

Uselton said Phi Delta Theta at MTSU will be working with the Boys and Girls Club of Murfreesboro, the chapter’s philanthropic organization. In the past, Tennessee Eta has hosted Easter egg hunts, field days and “Dancing Through the Decades” with the club.

Phi Delta Theta received the Interfraternity Council President’s Cup in March, the highest ranking honor a fraternity can receive at MTSU.

Uselton said, “Our grades and community presence have always been of the utmost importance to us and it is our plan to keep those as the strong foundation of our chapter.”

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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