Zeta Beta Tau has already gone on record renouncing what some of its members did at a retreat honoring wounded veterans last week, but that may just be the beginning for the guilty parties.
An earlier report from the Gainesville Sun indicated that the fraternity was moving for expulsion. That is, they would kick the perpetrators out of the organization completely, and it’s not yet clear whether the University of Florida would do the same.
A follow up on the fraternity’s Facebook page confirmed that expulsions had already begun.
“We have already expelled three members from our chapter at the University of Florida for inappropriate behavior at the event, and we will take additional action as the investigation unfolds,” the organization said, adding that it was “horrified” by the reported behaviors.
Zeta Beta Tau previously issued the following statement via a letter to the Wounded Warriors organization following the incident.
The frat is on probation until December as the investigation proceeds. Tyler Drescher, president of the accused chapter, previously issued a simple “no comment” regarding the incident to the Associated Press.
“As a Fraternity, we have a ZERO tolerance policy for such behaviors, and those found guilty will be expelled. The deeds described on both social media and in letters to our University are completely against our Fraternity’s values and ideas and those that have failed to respect those values will not be welcomed anymore.”
Zeta Beta Tau also said they plan on contributing financially to the retreat so that additional veterans can participate in the future.
“We’re going to let them do that,” said Linda Cope, founder of the retreat. “I’m thinking of different ideas because we could really use some fundraisers.”
As for the University of Florida, they, too, expressed their displeasure with the allegations.
University president W. Kent Fuchs had the following to say in a letter to Cope.
“I want to make clear that I am deeply sorry for the affront that our students may have caused,” Fuchs said. “I want to assure you that it is not representative of our students or our university, and we will make every effort to learn more, take appropriate action and prevent similar incidents from occurring again.”
The University is still weighing “what we need to do in response,” added spokesperson Janine Sikes.
In the initial incident, the Zeta Beta Tau members and some of their female companions reportedly urinated on some of the flags that belonged to the veterans. They also allegedly spit on the veteran pictured above.
As you can imagine, most on social media are calling for their heads, both literally and figuratively, with some hoping that the names of the guilty will be published.
“Won’t that look good on their resumes,” said commenter Robin Mitchell.
“They should be arrested for assault!” wrote Don Ludwig. “As far as I know in most places spitting on someone is considered assault. Expulsion from a frat… is no big deal. A conviction for assault will stay on their records and follow them through the rest of their lives as it should be.”
Do you think that Zeta Beta Tau is doing the right thing in moving for expulsion, and should that be the end of it or should the individuals involved face criminal charges? Sound off in the comments section.