The Beta Theta Pi fraternity at the University of Central Florida has been suspended after a mother complained that her son was forced to chug a bottle of alcohol while he was pledging.
According to reports, Beta Theta Pi was accused of hazing and providing alcohol to underage students in November after a mother of a student reported that her son was forced to chug a “huge bottle” of alcohol during a pledge event.
While a spokesman for Beta Theta Pi did not answer questions about whether the underage drinking and hazing occurred, they did send out a statement saying the organization is working with students, alumni and university officials to investigate the claims.
The university’s action stemmed from an letter that a mother of a former pledge wrote to Beta Theta Pi’s national organization about her son being dismissed from the fraternity. As a pledge, the woman wrote, her son had to perform favors for the current members, including providing rides to them and their girlfriends and cleaning the house for parties at 4 a.m. And, the mother wrote, her son was sick after fraternity members forced him to drink Smirnoff Ice.
“Being concerned, I did not understand why one drink made him sick until he sent a picture of the huge bottle he was pressured and forced to chug,” she wrote. “I told him that he needed to be careful as he is not used to drinking, and I was worried about him and the other pledges.”
The mother said her son was told he was asked to join Beta Theta Pi because of his high GPA, social life, community service and participation in intramural sports.
A hearing for the organization has been scheduled for February 16.
This is the latest fraternity suspension in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State and Penn State have all suspended fraternities.