Washburn Univ. says it’s putting the Phi Delta Theta controversy behind them

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A follow-up to a story we first reported last spring on the Washburn University campus.

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity got in trouble after members were caught sending vulgar, explicit text messages, but this school year couldn’t be off to a better start for the men of Phi Delta Theta.

In April, the university came down hard on the fraternity for those text messages, nearly suspending them indefinitely, but today its different story.

“There are potentially individuals that are suspended, but as a chapter they are not,” said Jessica Barraclough, Director of student Activities and Greek Life at Washburn University.

Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Washburn was suspended, and threatened with expulsion after a series of lewd messages were posted by some members on an online message board.

After an extensive investigation, sanctions were brought down on the individuals involved.

“They are able to recruit, and participate in events on campus,” says Barraclough.

Barraclough believes that fraternities sometimes can get a bad rap, and Phi Delta Theta was caught in the cross fire.

You may remember Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s racial chants at the University of Oklahoma, or the Kappa Sigma sexual assault at the University of Kansas happened about the same time.

“When something happened many states away, it can have a big impact on all of us,” Barraclough says.

Students here say they think, as the administration does, the incident is a closed chapter in the university’s history.

“Just because one person, or two did something it should not affect the rest of the group. It’s a good place,” says student, Morgan Elizabeth.

There is some lingering fallout, all the fraternity members have to participate in social behavior classes. And new this year all fraternity, and sorority chapter presidents are now required to meet monthly with the university advisors.

Despite last year’s events, the university’s director of Student Activities and Greek Life says the university is seeing a steady enrollment of new members in their Greek community.

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