UC Berkeley revoked its official recognition of three fraternities this week, citing activities related to hazing.
Chi Phi and Theta Delta Chi have lost their official status through January 2026 and campus recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been revoked through January 2029, according to UC Berkeley, which alerted the fraternities to the decisions on Thursday and Friday.
The decision to revoke recognition means these fraternities are no longer subject to UC Berkeley oversight: “Students are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not join these groups,” UC Berkeley writes on its CalGreeks webpage. The university also “strongly” urges its recognized fraternities and sororities to avoid “events, programs, invites, or activities with any unrecognized groups.”
UC Berkeley now has 11 fraternities and one sorority that are unrecognized.
Details about what sort of hazing activities took place were unavailable as of publication time.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Adam M. Ratliff said that information is not considered public.
“We are precluded from sharing specific conduct investigation information due to federal and state privacy laws and UC policies,” he said.
On Thursday afternoon, in an email message to the “CalGreeks Community and Partners,” UC Berkeley announced its decision to revoke recognition of the Lambda Chapter of Chi Phi Fraternity, at 2722 Durant Ave., “as the chapter was found responsible for hazing activities. The University took the strongest action available against the fraternity as a result of these hazing activities. The University removed recognition on December 13, 2021, and University recognition will not be considered for Chi Phi Fraternity until January 2026 or later.”
On Friday morning, a similar message went out about the Delta Deuteron Chapter of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity, at 2647 Durant Ave: “The chapter was found responsible for hazing activities. The University took the strongest action available against the fraternity as a result of these hazing activities. The University removed recognition on December 20, 2021, and University recognition will not be considered for Theta Delta Chi Fraternity until January 2026 or later.”
And, on Friday afternoon, a similar message went out regarding Sigma Alpha Epsilon at 2722 Bancroft Way. The university pulled its recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon on Dec. 22, 2021, the email said. The revocation is effective “until January 2029 or later,” which is at least three years longer than the suspension period for Chi Phi and Theta Delta Chi.
Unrecognized fraternities “cannot receive any advising, training, or support services” from UC Berkeley and “may not recruit members on the UC Berkeley campus until after the conclusion of the revocation.”
See the full list of CalGreeks fraternities and unrecognized groups on UC Berkeley’s student life website
“These groups… do not take advantage of critical training and advisement, nor are their events registered – which provides accountability in following policies and safety regulations,” according to UC Berkeley materials. “While several of these organizations are working towards being re-recognized by UC Berkeley, many of these groups potentially put students at risk and unsafe situations by hosting parties and other social events that do not align with campus policies, practices, and standards.”
UC Berkeley asks anyone who becomes aware of hazing to report it to the university: “If you know of any Fraternity or Sorority that is currently participating in hazing activities, please submit a report to the University Student Conduct Office or contact the F&S Life staff to begin an investigation.”
UC Berkeley “does not tolerate hazing by any group or individual affiliated with the University,” it says on its support page related to hazing.
UC Berkeley now has 58 recognized CalGreeks fraternity and sorority organizations that are active on campus, with about one in 10 undergraduate students who participate in them, as well as five other fraternities and sororities that are starting chapters.
C. David Strait, president of the Delta Deuteron Building Association, provided the following statement, about Cal’s revocation decision, in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry.
His statement about the local chapter, which the fraternity calls a “charge,” appears in full below. Berkeleyside has asked the other fraternities for their responses and will add them if they become available.
The Berkeley alumni of Theta Delta Chi were disappointed to learn of the loss. Our Charge was founded at Berkeley in 1900 and has maintained continuous operations since then, through world wars, great depressions, and the recent pandemic. Until recently the Berkeley Charge was a Gold Star fraternity at UCB. Fraternity membership often results in meaningful life-long friendships, and many have gone on to professional lives and have contributed to society in many ways.
The new member initiation process has been developed over time and though traditions—but seemed to have transitioned into problematic behaviors of late. The students and student leadership at the house have acknowledged that the hazing violations were inappropriate and risky. The young men worked with our Central Fraternity Office to develop a stringent Reform Plan which included significant commitments to abandoning old behaviors and changing the culture. The plan includes many changes and was created with genuine resolve and was presented to the UC Student Conduct officers, who did not find the plan to be satisfactory.
However, the undergraduates and the alumni membership have taken this event as a wakeup call with a renewed commitment to refocus our new member programs and social activities to avoid risky behaviors and rely more upon the benefits of brotherhood. The alumni agree that the culture at the fraternity must change to face the realities of the modern world. Membership in fraternities acts as a support structure for young men who are taking on the challenges of attending this prestigious university. Brotherhood should offer mentorship and be a path to self improvement, and constructive benefit to society.
That is where our focus will be directed going forward. While we don’t anticipate rapid return to recognition by the University, we currently are working to complete the Reform plan and create systems to change our house culture for the better. Our goal is to maintain a place in our fraternal organization, and eventually earn recognition by the University.
Featured photo: Patrick Feyh