Wesleyan University has finally put its foot down on Beta House, the "unrecognized" fraternity that bore the unfortunate nickname "rape factory." Operative word here: finally.
Beta House, aka Mu Epsilon, operated as an unrecognized fraternity "housing option" on Wesleyan's campus for years. Students were allowed to live there, but they weren't recognized as a fraternity even though people who lived there sort of acted like frat bros who did not know how to behave in a way that wasn't dangerous to themselves and others. One Wesleyan student sued the school and Beta House after being raped there, alleging that the school did not do enough to warn her about the behavior problems endemic to the quasi frat. That case was settled in 2013.
Earlier this week, a woman was seriously injured after falling from a window at Beta House during a party, an incident that was apparently the tipping point after years of misbehavior emanating from Beta House. Students who currently live there have been evicted for the remainder of the academic year, and must leave before September 15th, according to the Huffington Post.
An official from the national fraternity associated with Beta House had some sanitized words for what went on there,
Jud Horras, administrative secretary of the national Beta Theta Pi office, pledged cooperation with Wesleyan's review of the local chapter on Wednesday. He also announced that Mu Epsilon has now been suspended by the national office.
"Beta Theta Pi has enjoyed 125 years at Wesleyan, but the chapter has been in the midst of an extensive period of self-renewal and reorganization following several years of challenging behavior," Horras said in a statement. "Moving forward and building positively on that reality, Beta Theta Pi must continue to accept responsibility for its members' actions that have not lived up to the expectations of the University, community and larger General Fraternity. To that end, effective immediately, the Fraternity is downgrading the chapter's status from 'Probation' to 'Suspension.'"
Meanwhile, Wesleyan University officials have told students that the school is reevaluating whether or not it's even worth it to fuck around with fraternities, since, from the perspective of a university administrator, they're often little bad publicity bombs that could explode at any time.
Image via screengrab/Animal House