The president of Miami University in Ohio has pledged a review of policies and punishments for campus fraternities and sororities after a second sorority was linked to destructive behavior at its spring formal, including vomiting and smoking inside a museum.
The second incident involving the southwest Ohio school to become public this week was at a Cincinnati museum focused on the Underground Railroad.
The Alpha Xi Delta sorority is facing a two-year suspension from the school because of the March 26 event at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Center officials also described excessive drinking and trashing of the dance floor and bathrooms.
The sorority is appealing the planned suspension.
Miami University’s Pi Beta Phi sorority has already been suspended for one year because of misconduct, including excessive and underage drinking, and damage at a local lakeside lodge.
Both sororities have been placed on probation by their national leadership.
A letter to the university from the Freedom Center alleged that Alpha Xi members and their dates vomited in different places, left the men’s bathroom with puddles of urine, dropped drinks onto the dance floor, and tried to steal bottles of booze from the bar after many sneaked in their own alcohol in flasks or concealed in plastic bottles.
“Things went from bad to worse as the night progressed,” wrote Rhonda Miller, private event coordinator.
She caught one male apparently planning to urinate on an early 19th century slave pen exhibit.
School president David Hodge, who had expressed regret and embarrassment earlier this week over the Pi Beta Phi behavior, said in a letter to staff and faculty on Wednesday that he was appalled and embarrassed by the incident at the Freedom Center “because it was a place of such cultural and historical significance to our community.”
He said he has apologized to Freedom Center officials and that Miami will thoroughly review of policies and standards “with the intent to significantly update requirements for Greek events and disciplinary procedures for the Greek community.”
That could include increasing sanctions, said university spokeswoman Claire Wagner.
“These recent incidents of negative behavior are deeply troubling and embarrassing,” Hodge stated. “Working together with the Greek governing councils, chapter advisers, chapter membership, and the national organizations, we are determined to live up to our values.”
In a statement, Indianapolis-based Alpha Xi said it was “saddened by the inappropriate behavior” and apologizes to the Freedom Center.
“The poor judgment and actions that some individuals displayed showed not only little respect for the facility but for themselves,” the statement said.
Earlier this week, the school said Pi Beta Phi was disciplined after the owner of Lake Lyndsay Lodge, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, complained about damage and behavior that included guests urinating in sinks, men scrambling over the bar for drinks, and couples caught having sex.
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