'Animal House' frat at Dartmouth 'derecognized' for branding

AP News
Posted: Apr 14, 2015 1:52 PM

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — A Dartmouth College fraternity that partly inspired the 1978 movie "Animal House" has been "derecognized" by a campus judicial committee after reports that some new members received brands on their skin.

The committee found Alpha Delta responsible for causing harm to members and violating terms of a suspension for alcohol violations. Its determination comes as several fraternities around the country are being criticized for bad behavior.

The fraternity has until Monday to appeal. Fraternity President Ryan Maguire on Tuesday told The Valley News (http://bit.ly/1Ow87wr) that no decision on whether to appeal has been made yet.

"Alpha Delta is aware of the college's decision to withdraw recognition of the fraternity," Maguire wrote in an email. "We are disappointed by this decision and are exploring the options available to us, including the appeal process."

Regardless of the outcome of an appeal, the college's interim dean, Inge-Lise Ameer, has the authority to withdraw recognition of Alpha Delta. She's taken evidence from the committee under advisement.

Alpha Delta, where current Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon was once a brother, has a significant record of disciplinary violations, including hazing, serving alcohol to minors and hosting unregistered parties. The recent allegations involve incidents that happened last fall, when the fraternity was under suspension for previous policy violations.

Attorney George Ostler said last month that the fraternity acknowledged a small number of members voluntarily chose to get body brands. He said the practice was never a condition of membership and has since stopped. Ostler did not return a call from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Over the past few months, fraternities on other campuses have been investigated and some have shut down.

At the University of Oklahoma, fraternity members were caught on video singing a racist song. At Penn State, investigators have been looking into allegations that a fraternity had a private Facebook group with pictures of nude and partially nude women, some of them asleep or unconscious. Two organizations at North Carolina State have been shut down, one over a sexist and racist book, another over sexual assault allegations.