The Miami Herald reports that Heather White, the university's interim dean of students, sent the fraternity's chapter at Florida a three-page-letter recommending a four-year suspension from Dec. 7 to Dec. 17, 2021.
The chapter was accused of violating five student conduct codes, including serving alcohol to minors, illicit drug possession and use and an incident in which several intoxicated people were sent to the hospital. Also, the letter cited the fraternity for causing more than $3,000 in damages to a hotel while on a weekend trip in September to New Orleans.
All residents of the chapter have until Jan. 31 to vacate the fraternity house on the Gainesville campus. The chapter has 147 active members enrolled at Florida.
According to the letter, the school made the decision to suspend the fraternity for several reasons. Among them: The chapter had previously been placed on deferred suspension twice because of violation of the student conduct code, including a 2008 violation when campus police found 36 pledges kneeling shirtless on the floor of the fraternity’s basement.
In addition, many fraternity members, including chapter leadership, were involved in the previous behaviors that violated University of Florida policies.
The four-year suspension means Tau Epsilon Phi will not be recognized as an active part of the UF community and cannot participate in any school functions.
The suspension follows similar actions at Florida International University, which suspended the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in October 2017 after connecting the Greek organization to a series of leaked screenshots of a group chat. The images showed what appear to be multiple non-consensual nude images of women, references to pedophilia, anti-Semitic and rape jokes, drug sales and insensitive comments about a sorority member who died last summer.
In December, Florida International President Mark Rosenberg suspended all Greek life for at least a month starting in January over “growing concerns” about Greek life.
Two University of West Florida fraternities were suspended in November. The Tau-Psi chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was suspended for a minimum of five years, and the Nu Eta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was temporarily suspended, over hazing activities. The school is in Pensacola.
Texas State University also suspended its Greek chapters in 2017 after the death of a Phi Kappa Psi pledge at an off-campus apartment.