In recent weeks, rumors have circled campus about Seton Hall’s Zeta Psi chapter being suspended. According to the Assistant Director of Leadership Development (Greek Liaison), Michael Davis, the fraternity received a cease and desist from the University on Monday, Nov. 28.
Davis said, “As a University, we do not close chapters. The chapter closes the chapter.” He added that Zeta Psi did not follow the requirements, policies and expectations the university has for its fraternities and sororities.
Davis further elaborated and stated that Zeta Psi has been on probation for two out of the last three years for various reasons, but this year was for not properly documenting information in official paperwork, even though the University has tried to get Zeta Psi to do so. Davis said this paperwork includes a roster of all individuals with corresponding information, the chapter’s social media outlets and adviser contact information.
The president of SHU’s Zeta Psi chapter, Joseph Giuliani, a senior biology major, said he did everything he could to prevent what he calls an “ill-fated ruling.”
When asked what he thought caused the suspension, he said in an email interview, “Specifically, I think it was a product of a changing Greek community. We did not attend required meetings, had risk management issues with the University, and alleged events that are still under investigation, which are all violations of an action plan we agreed to stay in accordance with.”
According to the Zeta Psi Fraternity website, their risk management policy is a document that outlines expectations of their chapters in regards to alcohol and drugs, hazing, sexual abuse, etc.
When Giuliani was asked to elaborate about the “alleged events” he mentioned, he said that there were allegations against Zeta Psi because an underage student suffered from alcohol poisoning after attending a Zeta Psi party. He said their chapter provided evidence that the allegations were mistaken, but their evidence was not deemed “evident enough” by the University.
Giuliani said the fraternity was previously on probation in Fall 2015. To prevent suspension, Zeta Psi collectively made a plan of action to abide by the University’s standards. Giuliani said, “It was discouraging that we did not continue throughout the semester, because we had events planned that would have met the action plan’s requirements.”
Giuliani said Zeta Psi further put in effort by implementing a points system that encouraged brothers to go to events, a judicial board to review brother’s actions and a risk management team to prevent any violations of SHU’s code of conduct. Despite it all, Giuliani said, “I think based on previous probations, the University did deem our chapter as competent.”
According to the Zeta Psi Fraternity website, “Through active chapter participation and continuing alumni outreach, Zeta Psi members are committed to the development of leadership, character and intellect and to the service of their brothers, their communities and mankind.”
Lauck Walton, executive director at Zeta Psi Fraternity International Headquarters, said via email that to his knowledge, SHU initiated the suspension, not headquarters. He acknowledged that the Seton Hall Alumni Association also suspended the chapter. “Zeta Psi IHQ and the Alumni Association intend to return to campus and regain University recognition when the suspension period ends,” Walton said.
Giuliani said he was told by the Department of University Life that the fraternity is suspended for five years. He said Zeta Psi plans to regain recognition from the University as a chapter at SHU. He added, “We never thought that we would reach the point of not being recognized as organization based on the accusations made by the school.”