Zeta Phi Beta, suspended in 2013 after a hazing incident, has completed its probation period one year after its return to campus.
The sorority was reinstated and put on probation last January after a two-year suspension stemming from a hazing incident. As of Jan. 10, the sorority is no longer on probation.
“It was hard. We took it very hard when it happened,” said LaShanda Coleman, undergraduate advisor for the Zeta Phi Beta sorority. “It was a wakeup call. But now we’re under new leadership and everyone is aware that things have changed.”
Under this new leadership, the sorority has taken steps to rectify what has happened, and has brought in new members.
Coleman said those steps included meetings with alumni, members of the graduate chapter, current chapter at OSU and its state director, as well as education classes, and all members taking a four-hour membership intake program.
“We had to show a dedication, in the community, that we would not let this happen again,” Coleman said. “That’s where we were founded. And there’s definitely been a lot of interest throughout this period in joining.”
The Code of Student Conduct defines hazing as “doing, requiring or encouraging any act, whether or not the act is voluntarily agreed upon, in conjunction with initiation or continued membership or participation in any group, that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm or humiliation. Such acts may include, but are not limited to, use of alcohol, creation of excessive fatigue, and paddling, punching or kicking in any form.”
While David Isaacs, Student Life spokesman, could not comment as to the nature of the hazing, he did explain the requirements needed for reinstatement.
He said the sorority was mandated to put in place anti-hazing education programs, as well as a formal new member plan with specific details on its anti-hazing policy. In addition, the national headquarters of Zeta Phi Beta had to approve the move back onto campus, along with the graduate chapter, Gamma Zeta Zeta.
From there, OSU Student Life could reinstate the sorority following the suspension, with a one-year probationary period.
“We have been extremely happy with what they have done throughout this probationary period,” Isaacs said. “We have worked extremely closely with them and their alumni to ensure that they understand what went wrong and how we can prevent it from happening again.”
Isaacs said he believes Zeta Phi Beta could be a role model to other Greek organizations.
“They are a real success story with how eager they were to change their behaviors,” Isaacs said. “They are a prime example that, even if mistakes are made, groups can come through better on the other side.”