Miami’s chapter of Phi Mu was placed under social probation by the university last month on April 20.
The punishment follows an investigation into an annual semi-secret party hosted by the sorority on the night of Preference Round during recruitment.
The Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR) charged Phi Mu with violating sections of the student code of conduct concerning underage drinking as well as “retaliation,” according to an OESCR final outcomes report.
Phi Mu will remain under probation until “80% of the active members and 100% of the new members” complete a two-hour alcohol education program, according to the document.
The sorority will also be required to create a 30-minute presentation “discussing how the chapter has learned from this event and what steps are in place to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.” Both the alcohol education requirement and the presentation must be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.
The final outcomes report does not specify the circumstances that resulted in the punishments for Phi Mu.
A second document, a report submitted to OESCR, describes a party that flies in the face of Panhellenic (PA) no-alcohol-during recruitment rule. The event is thrown every year on the night of the Preference Round during sorority recruitment. This year, Preference Round fell on Saturday, Feb. 10.
“The event itself is never organized in writing (i.e. groupme, text message, email, etc.) to maintain its secrecy and minimize evidence. Event details are communicated during recruitment workshops, as it is a convenient time when all members are present,” reads the document. “Chapter members’ cellphones are placed in boxes labeled ‘sophomores,’ ‘juniors,’ and ‘seniors’ … again to minimize evidence of the event occurring.”
The document claims the event “is widely known within the Fraternity and Sorority community.”
It goes on to describe the events of the night of Feb. 10.
According to the report, PA executive board was informed of the time and location of the unsanctioned event shortly before it was supposed to start. Three members of the board took it upon themselves to confirm the party was, in fact, going on.
The PA execs arrived and were welcomed to the party by a sorority member: “Oh, you can definitely just go on in.”
The board members entered the party and saw sophomores, juniors and seniors drinking boxed wine. The exec members began photographing wine, solo cups and the women in attendance — photographs (in redacted form) attached to the report. The attendees did not immediately recognize the board members, though they were wearing Panhellenic shirts, according to the report.
The board members proceeded to close down the event and report it to PA. The sorority was brought to PA mediation and placed on indefinite social probation, which has now ended (this Panhellenic-imposed probation is separate from and precedes the punishment handed down by the university in April). The sorority was also given a temporary curfew and dry period, according to the document.
The report also mentions the sorority’s national organization responded to the incident.
“Through our Panhellenic mediation process we worked together with Phi Mu chapter leadership to come to a mutually agreed upon resolution that would both hold the chapter accountable for their actions as well as educate members in order to prevent future incidents,” wrote Emily Wolfzorn, the current PA president in an email to The Miami Student about PA’s process.
“Our Phi Mu chapter has completed all of the agreed upon sanctions as well as their own chapter imposed sanctions and I am confident in Phi Mu chapter leadership’s ability to continue to hold themselves and their members to our high standards.”
When asked for comment, the Miami chapter of Phi Mu, declined, referring The Miami Student to their national organization. Phi Mu’s nationals were not able to respond to comment in time for publication.
The publicly available version of the report — the one acquired by The Miami Student — is partially redacted. The names of individuals, the name of the sorority responsible for the party and a smattering of other words are blacked out. Nowhere is Phi Mu explicitly mentioned.
Though OESCR director Susan Vaughn declined to confirm whether or not the redacted report was related to the Phi Mu sanctions, Phi Mu was confirmed as the host of the Feb. 10 event by comments from Wolfzorn and from previous members of PA’s executive board.
While all names within the February report were redacted, titles were not. The three PA executive members who discovered, documented and then reported the Phi Mu event were referred to as “Outgoing Panhellenic President, [redacted], Outgoing VP of Standards, [redacted], and Outgoing VP of Recruitment [redacted].”
Outgoing PA President Annie Weidner and VP of Recruitment Tatiana Pavloff confirmed they were two of the redacted figures referenced in the document, and the report was about a boxed wine event held by Phi Mu.
“It is the respect and privilege of Panhellenic to serve as a trusted supporter of all our organizations,” said Weidner. “But it is also the role of Panhellenic to hold chapters accountable to their own values and our community’s values.
“My term was founded on empowering chapters to be the best version of themselves, and I believe in each and every chapter to successfully do that.”
Additionally, 13 greek organizations were reported to OESCR during and after Greek recruitment season earlier this semester. Redacted versions of these reports were obtained by The Miami Student.
Twelve sets of documents focus on fraternities, but only one report — the one describing the party on the night of Feb. 10 — is about a sorority. Phi Mu was the only sorority punished by the university following the slew of recruitment reports.