An off-campus New Year’s Eve party has caused a major disruption to Belmont’s fraternities’ spring recruitment and has placed Alpha Tau Omega under investigation from both Belmont and the ATO national office.
ATO cannot hold spring recruitment while being under investigation.
Additionally, Phi Kappa Tau fraternity was forced to cancel its spring recruitment after its leaders declined to grant bids to every eligible applicant, which directly conflicts with a new Belmont policy.
“I am disheartened by how some Greek leaders have decided to rebel against clearly established policies and act in a disrespectful fashion toward our staff,” Associate Provost and Dean of Students Dr. Jeffery Burgin said in a statement sent to the Vision.
Last year, Belmont adopted a new policy requiring Belmont’s two fraternities, ATO and Phi Tau, which are governed by Interfraternity Council, to accept 100 percent of potential new members during recruitment.
The policy requires every male student who meets fraternity standards during recruitment to be accepted by one of the fraternities.
Since ATO is prohibited from spring recruitment, Phi Tau would be required to accept every potential new member.
While Belmont sororities currently abide by this policy, it has been met with disdain by some fraternity members.
ATO’s president Patrick Williamson did not respond to the Vision, while Phi Tau president Austin Coleman declined to comment on the matter.
Kirk Bado, a Phi Tau member, also declined to comment, but directed the Vision to his blog, where he had written a post about “Why unilateral action at Belmont is dangerous.”
“This will radically change one of the best Greek communities in the country for the worse,” Bado’s blog post read. “The power is taken away from us to guide our own future.”
Bado says some Belmont students “are simply not ready” for the responsibility of joining Phi Tau, and his fraternity has been “successful in weeding out the less than distinct men of character.”
“The flood gates of our chapters will be thrown open to all sorts of people who have no business receiving a bid,” Bado wrote.
When met with the decision to continue with spring recruitment, leaders in Phi Tau initially agreed to the 100 percent acceptance policy, but later told administration they would drop some of the potential new members after 48 hours.
Burgin was disappointed with the decision from Phi Tau leaders, saying “the Greek lettered organizations at Belmont University are among the best in the country.”
“If our organizations choose to act in this fashion, then we have failed in fostering student leadership, character development and high moral standards,” Burgin said.
“Therefore it was my decision to forego spring recruitment until our community can find common ground, return to civil discourse and honor the individual worth of every person on this campus.”
Click here for Associate Provost and Dean of Students Dr. Jeffery Burgin’s full statement sent to the Vision.
This article was written by Zach Gilchriest. Riley Wallace and Rebecca Arnold contributed.
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