The University of Florida in Gainesville has shut down the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity chapter on its campus after members of the fraternity allegedly mistreated wounded war veterans earlier this month in Panama City Beach, Fla., by spitting, urinating and pouring beer on them
The university already had suspended the fraternity last week after the allegations came to light, and the fraternity had expelled some members for their behavior. Tuesday, in a joint decision with the Zeta Beta Tau International, university officials announced that the University of Florida chapter was closing, effective immediately.
“I continue to be saddened and disappointed by the reported mistreatment and disrespect of our military veterans,” University of Florida President Kent Fuchs says. “Our university has always honored, and will always honor, the service of veterans. The reported conduct of this fraternity contradicts the values of service and respect that are at the center of this university."
The university and the fraternity are continuing an investigation into the details of the fraternity members' alleged misconduct, but officials say the information they have so far is enough to take action.
"While investigators have not yet found conclusive evidence regarding some of the more egregious allegations, it is clear that students made irresponsible decisions and behaved in ways that are unacceptable and disrespectful," says Matthew J. Rubins, international president of Zeta Beta Tau.
"We are absolutely disgusted by the accusations that have been made regarding the behavior of certain members of this chapter," Rubins says. "ZBT has a long history of serving our country, with brothers currently serving in all ranks of the military. ZBT will work diligently to demonstrate that the alleged behavior of a few does not represent the values of the many."