With a third sorority receiving sanctions for behavior at an off campus formal event, Miami’s Greek system has definitely been in the spotlight.
Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) has been put on disciplinary probation for two years as a result of unruly behavior by members on the return bus ride from their spring formal that took place at the Cincinnati Zoo.
According to Mike McKinney, an associate for Savannah Nite, the Limousine Service involved with the incident, the driver was harassed by a group of senior ZTA members and their dates.
In the 12 years that we have been doing this, we have never been treated so badly by a group,” McKinney said. “We’ve had some bad people, but they were the worst.”
McKinney said the bus driver assisted the group in removing a beer pong table from their front lawn prior to the departure to avoid any citations for the students, and was repaid by being poked, belittled and threatened to be sued while driving.
“He was poked in the back of the head, called derogatory names and told that if he had gone to college, he would not have ended up as a bus driver. He doesn’t want to drive Miami students ever again,” McKinney said.
On top of the harassment towards the driver, McKinney said the bus received significant damage, and the company has yet to receive any reimbursement from either the sorority or the university.
ZTA president Meghan Hughes said while only a few members behaved inappropriately, the entire sorority has accepted responsibility, and the consequential punishment, for their actions.
“ZTA teaches us that our individual actions reflect on the whole chapter and the entire Fraternity,” Hughes said. “While only a small percentage of our members behaved inappropriately, we all take responsibility.”
While it may appear that the sororities receiving the recent sanctions were involved in similar incidents, Director of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution Susan Vaughn said that the cases are all quite different.
“Whenever we get a complaint we pull the file to see if the organization of student has any priors,” Vaughn said.
According to Vaughn, the organization is notified of their opportunity for a hearing and has the option of requesting a hearing before an administration, disciplinary board, or accept a proposed sanction.
“Most cases are not identical in many ways. There are so many factors involved,” Vaughn said.
According to Hughes, ZTA regards their sanction as adequate.
“We accept the sanctions established by the university and by our fraternity. We will respect their values and will work to restore their faith and trust in our chapter,” Hughes said.