Last semester Chi Delta Omicron, one of the three fraternities at the University of La Verne was suspended for alleged hazing.
Today the fraternity is not recognized as an active fraternity on campus.
“In our estimation, they do not exist as an organization,” Associate Dean of Student Life Ruby Montaño-Cordova said.
The organization was accused of hazing during spring 2004 pledging.
The activity that got them into trouble, say its members, was a mild form of “paddling,” or using an object to strike pledges as part of initiation rituals. Apparently, the pledges were fully clothed during this activity.
Still, under the student affairs policy, this ritual constitutes hazing.
“We have no room for that,” Montaño-Cordova said.
According to fraternity members, one person accused the organization of hazing but didn’t come forward until some days after initiation. Initiation took place April 24.
“It was hell for everyone,” former President of Chi Delta Omicron Jay Aguila said.
Aguila, a senior communications major, said that members of the fraternity had no idea that the accusation was going to be made because the person who made the accusation wore the fraternity’s letters and attended a philanthropic event right after being initiated into the organization.
Not only did the accusation harm the fraternity’s reputation and status as an active organization, but the appeal to overturn the suspension was denied.
In situations like this, accusations are heard before the Greek Review Board.
Montaño-Cordova said that based on the student affairs policy, the information gathered and interviews, Chi Delta Omicron was found responsible for breaking policy.
Still its members say the punishment does not fit the crime.
“We're not saying that what we did was not hazing because under the school's rules it was,” Falone Serna, ULV alumnus ?and founder of the campus chapter of Chi Delta Omicron said.
“But what we did does not justify the punishment of getting kicked off campus,” he added.
Serna also said that the ruling board told the fraternity's seniors in the spring they would not graduate unless they came forward.
“We wanted our seniors to walk, that was our first concern,” Serna said.
“We were up front with the board thinking that if we were up front and told the truth right away we thought they would be more lenient.
“The board has made us out to seem that we are not remorseful for what we did but we are. I'm sorry the accuser felt that way but if ULV feels they used us as an example for eliminating hazing they are wrong,” he added.
The board will not hear the fraternity's appeal to be re-instated.
Though Aguila said the paperwork for the appeal was not completed in a timely matter.
With cases such as this one, there is a five-day window for appeals.
“Everything had a timeline but nothing was ever done,” Aguila said.
Aguila also added that the letters that were essential in the appeals process were not given to the fraternity in time for the appeals process.
The organization meant a lot to its members.
Chi Delta Omicron was the only fraternity on the University’s campus that the members felt they identified with.
There are no plans to reinstate Chi Delta Omicron.
The fraternity did not participate in any of the University’s Greek events,
including this fall’s rush.
“I would love for the organization to be on campus,” Aguila said.
“They got rid of the fraternity with minorities. They got rid of a body that would’ve essentially been something for La Verne,” he added.
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