Monday, July 23, 2018
Education

UF fraternity suspended until 2021

The University of Florida becomes the latest school to suspend a fraternity for alleged incidents involving alcohol and drug use.

In December, Heather White, UF’s interim dean of students, sent the university’s chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi 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 to New Orleans in September.

All residents of the chapter have until Jan. 31 to vacate the fraternity house. The chapter has 147 active members currently enrolled at UF.

According to the letter, which was sent to the Miami Herald by John Hines, UF’s coordinator of media affairs, the school made the decision to suspend the fraternity for several reasons. Among them: The chapter had previously been placed on deferred suspension twice due to 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, FIU President Mark Rosenberg suspended all Greek life for at least a month starting in January over “growing concerns” about Greek life at FIU and on other college campuses. These references included the November death of Florida State University Pi Kappa Phi pledge Andrew Coffey, 20, a Pompano Beach High School grad who was found unresponsive after attending a frat party.

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.

Romy Ellenbogen, investigations editor with The Alligator, the University of Florida’s independent student newspaper, reported the suspension Tuesday and tweeted a copy of the disciplinary letter.

 

UF’s Tau Epsilon Phi chapter has until Jan. 22 to appeal the decision. The fraternity will have to work with the school to determine when, and if, it will be allowed to resume after the four-year suspension period.

Comments
In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

By the second week of August, public schools will be back in session across the Tampa Bay area. That may seem far off, but sleep experts say now is when parents need to start easing the kids (and themselves) into those early wakeup routines. The foll...
Published: 07/20/18
School district’s new high school signals mammoth growth for South County

School district’s new high school signals mammoth growth for South County

RUSKIN — An informational meeting held Wednesday in Ruskin to address parental concerns about a new high school will be the first of many in the next two decades as south Hillsborough County growth increases at a rapid pace.The new high school, slate...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/22/18
The genius: At age 11, he’s graduating from St. Petersburg College — then it’s on to astrophysics.

The genius: At age 11, he’s graduating from St. Petersburg College — then it’s on to astrophysics.

PALM HARBOR — Just over two years ago, William Maillis stepped onto a bright red chair behind a lectern, tweaked the angle of his microphone and recited a Bible verse in Greek before deconstructing a quote from French philosopher René Descartes.That’...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/21/18
Hernando County leaders may help School Board pay for campus security

Hernando County leaders may help School Board pay for campus security

BROOKSVILLE — With an Oct. 1 deadline looming for the Hernando County School Board to find a way to pay for school security once its agreement with the County Commission expires, leaders from both governments will consider extending the partnership.B...
Published: 07/19/18
State to keep close watch on five ‘turnaround’ schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas

State to keep close watch on five ‘turnaround’ schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas

State education officials on Wednesday approved plans in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties to improve struggling schools — but with some conditions.The Pinellas district will have to keep a close watch on Fairmount Park Elementary principal Kristy M...
Published: 07/18/18
Pinellas School Board: First of three big candidate forums on Tuesday

Pinellas School Board: First of three big candidate forums on Tuesday

Candidates for the Pinellas County School Board will appear Tuesday at the first of three forums sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation, St. Petersburg College, the Pinellas County Council PTA and the League of Women Voters. The event will be...
Published: 07/18/18
Hernando County teachers union endorses candidates for School Board

Hernando County teachers union endorses candidates for School Board

The Hernando Classroom Teachers Association, the union for the county’s instructional staff, has announced its recommendations for School Board candidates ahead of next month’s election.The group made its decisions via a private forum, where about fi...
Published: 07/18/18
Fired Hernando school superintendent Lori Romano finds a job in the county next door — Pasco

Fired Hernando school superintendent Lori Romano finds a job in the county next door — Pasco

Lori Romano, fired from the Hernando County superintendent post for "ineffective leadership" a month ago, has snagged a job in the neighboring Pasco County school district.She won’t be nearly as high up the administrative ladder in her new role.Subje...
Published: 07/17/18
Artist, advocate, Marine: New Pasco school security director compelled to serve

Artist, advocate, Marine: New Pasco school security director compelled to serve

LAND O’ LAKES — Chris Stowe has a storied past as an explosives technician in the U.S. Marine Corps.The retired master gunnery sergeant has mementos of his service — a field knife mounted to the lid of an explosives box, for instance — hanging promin...
Published: 07/17/18
Members new and old appointed to Pasco-Hernando State College boards

Members new and old appointed to Pasco-Hernando State College boards

Three trustees for Pasco-Hernando State College have been reappointed to their posts by Gov. Rick Scott, and a new member joined the college’s Foundation Board of Directors.The reappointments to the Board of Trustees are Alvaro Hernandez, Lee Maggard...
Published: 07/17/18