Michigan fraternity shut down after vandalizing resort

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2015 1:28 PM

(Reuters) - A University of Michigan fraternity at the center of complaints of extensive vandalism at a ski resort in January has been permanently suspended and will be closed, its parent organization said.

The Sigma Alpha Mu board said the action was necessary because those who did the damage did not come forward, chapter officers refused to identify members who damaged hotel property, and other members not directly involved did not act to stop the vandalism.

"Sigma Alpha Mu's values and standards of conduct were violated by the actions of those members whose behavior was abhorrent," the board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The incident comes amid increased attention on fraternities in the United States after the University of Oklahoma this month shut the chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the school for a video where its members were seen singing a racist song.

The Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan, sustained an estimated $100,000 damage over the Jan. 16-18 weekend including broken windows, ceiling tiles and furniture, broken glass inside rooms and beer cans crushed into walls, a university report noted.

The parent group said most of the chapter's senior members refused to participate in its investigation into the incident.

The University of Michigan withdrew its recognition of the fraternity for four years, and the parent organization has "regretfully agreed with their request to close the chapter."

The university also previously issued a two-year disciplinary suspension to a sister sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, whose members attended the resort weekend and failed to intervene to stop the vandalism.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Susan Heavey)