Beta Theta Pi punished for violating greek alcohol guidelines

Members sentenced to 600 hours of community service, must now keep alcohol-free house

When members of the Interfraternity Council discovered empty kegs in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity last Thursday, a private trial was set to determine the punishment for violating the greek guidelines.

Tuesday, jurors on the IFC panel reached a verdict, sentencing the fraternity to 600 hours of community service for alcohol violations.

IFC Adviser Rob Turning said the fraternity members must keep an alcohol-free house for the duration of the school year and are no longer allowed to hold any social events involving alcohol for the rest of the semester.

"They were very up front about (the incident)," Turning said of the members' involved. "They showed blatant disregard to the rulings."

Sophomore Phil Beaudoin, a second year Beta Theta Pi member, said during a camping trip to Bloomington in April, members of his fraternity brought along an unknown number of kegs. The same kegs were later dropped off at the Beta house several days after the trip.

Beaudoin said a member of the IFC executive board spotted the empty kegs in the house but was unsure who reported the incident.

"We didn't know that we were in violation of IFC ruling," Beaudoin said. "We were very surprised it came to trial. None of us believe our actions merit this punishment."

But according to the national chapter of Beta Theta Pi and IFC's risk management policies, fraternities are not allowed to use chapter funds or money pooled from members to purchase alcohol. Kegs are also not allowed on fraternity property.

Turning said members should have fully comprehended the national chapter policies and the IFC policies before taking the risks with alcohol, but said Thursday's discovery is the first time the fraternity has been brought to question for alcohol use in the past year.

IFC President Tony Bilotto said the fraternity is not upset by the ruling and intends to take the verdict in a positive direction.

"This situation is not a reflection of the greek community," Bilotto said. "This is one isolated event which has been dealt with, and we are moving on in a positive direction."

Although the house does not intend to remain dry after the punishment period has expired, Beaudoin is optimistic about the ruling for now.

"It will help us do better in school," he said. "Recruitment will be more effective and we'll get people who don't want to drink and party all the time.

"Hopefully we will have an increase in brotherhood as well."


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