Mizzou fraternity closes after hazing and alcohol violations

FarmHouse International Fraternity leaders announced Tuesday that it will close its chapter at University of Missouri, according to a news release.

The closing comes after a university and fraternity investigation found that the fraternity had violated hazing and alcohol policies.

“Our top priority is to foster a culture of safety and responsibility in our chapters,” said Christian Wiggins, FarmHouse International Fraternity CEO, said in a statement released by the university. “The chapter’s actions, including failing to adhere to the national organization’s hazing and alcohol policies, were in direct contradiction to FarmHouse values and our code of conduct. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in the fraternity, and we appreciate the university’s partnership as we have worked through the investigation and arrived at this conclusion.”

Investigation findings have been turned over to the Columbia Police Department as FarmHouse is not affiliated with university schools or colleges, a release said.

Wiggins told The Star that the closing is not permanent, and that FarmHouse plans to return in fall 2020.

The closing comes after the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national headquarters announced it will close its University of Missouri chapter due to violations of health and safety standards for at least four years. Members were expected to move out of their chapter house by late last week.

On March 8, the Interfraternity Council suspended new member activities for two weeks for its 29 chapters as the Office of Student Accountability and Support conducted multiple investigations of fraternities.

The closing also comes as an advisory council formed by Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Gary Ward last semester studies recommendations and policy changes that would aim to improve Greek life by making it safer and more equitable for students.

Ward created the council in the wake of a consultant’s report that he commissioned to examine whether Mizzou’s Greek system is at risk.

The Dyad Strategies report released in November found that Mizzou’s system was at great risk when it comes to issues of student drinking, hazing, and substance abuse. In addition, a dysfunctional office to support fraternities and sororities, then called the Office of Greek Life, had left students and alumni disillusioned and distrustful of the university’s role in Greek life.

The council is made up of Greek students, university leaders, faculty members, Greek alumni and national organization representatives. It is expected to make recommendations to the Chancellor’s office before the end of the semester.

“We are committed to ensuring students can come to Mizzou and benefit from fraternities and sororities in a safe and educational manner,” Ward said in a statement Tuesday. “Any person or action that compromises the safety of students on our campuses will be dealt with swiftly and strongly. Every student and parent should know that I am committed to making Mizzou’s Greek community a national model that provides students with an excellent and safe collegiate experience. We have a rich tradition of a vibrant Greek community at Mizzou that has benefited thousands of lives throughout its history.”

This story will be updated.

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