Wesleyan Declares Beta Fraternity House Off-limits to All Students

Kate CarlisleSeptember 11, 20143min

Citing incidents that raised serious questions about safety at the Beta Theta Pi house, Wesleyan has declared the fraternity residence off-limits to all university students.

The decision, announced Sept. 10 by President Michael Roth and Vice President for Student Affairs Mike Whaley, came three days after a sophomore woman was seriously injured in a fall from a third-floor window at Beta.

“We have lost confidence in the ability of the fraternity members to manage social and residential activities at the house and abide by university policies,” Roth and Whaley wrote in an email to the campus community. “Wesleyan has an obligation to do what it reasonably can to ensure the safety of every member of the community, including the Beta fraternity members and their guests. The Beta house will remain off-limits to all Wesleyan students for the rest of the academic year at least.”

The 15 students living at Beta were provided with alternative university housing, and asked to leave the premises by Sept. 15.

Roth and Whaley said their decision was “based on the long history of incidents” at Beta.

The most recent of these occurred during a party on Sept. 7, when the student fell three stories, sustaining multiple and serious injuries, and was airlifted to a Hartford Hospital. Public Safety and Middletown Police responded to the incident. As of Sept. 11, she remained in intensive care but her condition was reported to be improving.

The ban on Beta includes social events, and will continue at least through the academic year. “Down the road we are open to seeing from the fraternity a considered plan for the house and social activities there that satisfies our expectations for residential life at our university,” Roth and Whaley said.

There are three residential single-sex fraternities at Wesleyan, including Psi Upsilon and Delta Kappa Epsilon. In addition, there are coeducational residential societies including Eclectic and Alpha Delta Phi, and several nonresidential Greek societies, including Wesleyan’s only sorority, Rho Epsilon.

The fraternity residences are considered “program housing” at Wesleyan, although the properties are not owned by the university.