Allegations Against OU Frats, Sororities Released
By: Susan Tebben
ATHENS (WOUB) — The details of hazing allegations leveled against some Ohio University fraternities and sororities have been released just as some restrictions have been lifted.
The allegations accuse Greek Life members of a range of actions, from sitting on dryers naked to allegedly interrogating pledges in locked rooms, according to incident reports obtained by WOUB through an open records request.
All members of the Interfraternity Council, as well as the Marching 110 and the Ohio University Rugby Team were told to stop all non-academic activities as part of an investigation into misconduct allegations. The blanket suspension has been lifted by the university, as of Thursday.
Several of the incident reports were given to the OU Office for Community Standards and Student Responsibility by Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life. One was reported by Jenny Hall-Jones, Senior Associate Vice President & Dean of Students, from a previous member of a fraternity. Several reports were either anonymous or had their names redacted under privacy laws.
Allegations spelled out in the incident reports included against the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, which accused the fraternity of keeping pledges in the basement, causing one person to have an asthma attack and be taken to the emergency room, as reported by a parent of one of the members.
“During this hell week, new members were secluded to the basement for the entire week and not allowed to bathe, sleep at home, do homework, or go anywhere else other than class,” a second report on Lambda Chi Alpha explained.
The same person reported that Phi Kappa Psi’s “hell week” included pledges being treated in a similar way, including being secluded to a basement.
Beta Theta Pi was accused in a third-person report of locking pledges in a room, where they would allegedly “interrogate them for hours until they broke down.”
The person reporting the incident, who said she knew a former member of the fraternity, said “the hazing was very much about breaking them mentally.”
A second incident report said a student walking past the Beta Theta Pi chapter witnessed members carrying safes and trunks out of the house. OU Fraternity and Sorority head Ariel Tarosky took the report over the phone, and reported the incident.
“When I asked her what was in the safes, she said that they were full of drugs,” Tarosky wrote.
Tarosky asked the woman how she knew the safes held drugs, but the answer was redacted from the incident report provided to WOUB.
The Phi Chi Theta business fraternity was accused in two different incident reports of holding a “speed dating session”during rush week, in which females took the shirts off male students and sat in their laps.
Several reports advised university investigators to look into the sororities as well.
The Chi Omega sorority was accused of forcing girls “to do drugs almost every rush,” and it was alleged that Pi beta Phi “has girls sit on dryers nearly naked and circles fat in sharpie marker,” according to two incident reports.
Someone who identified themselves as a former member of the Delta Zeta sorority said the “hazing, abuse, and bullying I endured resulted in my hospitalization, dropping out of OU, as well as the sorority.”
A second report said Delta Zeta hazing “resulted in more than one broken bone, and a bad incident with bullying and depression.”
Several other fraternities, including Alpha Kappa Psi and Alpha Epsilon Pi, along with the OU Rugby Team, were accused of forcing or pressuring members to drink excessively at events, and some pledges were asked to wake up early to do tasks for fraternity members, or clean members’ houses.
Marching 110 members were accused of pressuring new members to drink excessively and burning holes into their uniforms. Incident reports also said they were told to roll down hills and dirty their jackets, which 110 Director Richard Suk responded to as part of the investigation.
“New members would receive their jackets, then they along with other band members would dirty them up so that they looked vintage,” Suk wrote in a conduct report from October 14, adding that he’d reported this to Senior Associate Vice President & Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones and former community standards department head Martha Compton.
Suk said the “dirtying event” has been supervised, but two student leaders told him recently that members would gather at a fellow student’s house to hold the event.
“Both assured me this was optional and a few chose not to participate,” Suk wrote. “I told them that was beside the point and that it did not comply with instructions given.