UCF's ATO fraternity suspended over unregistered house party

By Erik Sandoval, Reporter, esandoval@wkmg.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:22:28 AM EST
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 06:26:06 PM EDT

A University of Central Florida fraternity has been placed under organizational suspension after police found they violated university policy by having an open, non-sanctioned house party.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

A University of Central Florida fraternity has been placed under organizational suspension after police found they violated university policy by having an open, non-sanctioned house party.

According to UCF records, Alpha Tau Omega has been placed on organizational suspension for Fall 2013, Spring 2014 and Summer 2014 academic terms and disciplinary probation for Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 terms.

The party, which was themed "New Year's in July," took place at the ATO house on Greek Court on July 28, according to records. At a hearing late last month, they were found in violation of university policy and the Golden Rule Student Handbook, prompting their suspension.

The fraternity was already on probation with the school after accusations surfaced they hazed members last school year. Some claim they were locked in a room and forced to drink alcohol, while others claim they were forced to stand in a bucket of ice and exercise.

The fraternity was let off on probation, but the house party was a clear violation.

"Prior incidents do factor in to decisions," said university spokesman Chad Binette. "The fact they were on probation at the time this happened is a factor, but I would not say we were trying to make an example out of them."

ATO national leaders told Local 6 they took action immediately after they learned about the unsanctioned party in July, forcing 31 members out of the fraternity for acting irresponsibly.

"The national fraternity understands the university's frustration with the event but had hoped removing the members who were not engaging in a constructive manner would communicate that the chapter identified the issue and effectively dealt with it," CEO Wynn Smiley said in a statement.

While on suspension, the fraternity cannot take part in university activities as part of an organization unless approved.

While on disciplinary probation, the fraternity can participate in university and sponsored activities, but cannot violate any Organizational Rules of Conduct or else their status will be jeopardized.

ATO must also complete a consultation with their national fraternity and re-certification with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

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