The Beta Theta Pi house is now officially off-limits to students.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Culliton announced via email on Monday, Sept. 15 that any University student found in 184 High Street (Beta Theta Pi’s former house) without permission from the University and the organization that owns the house will be found in violation of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct.
This violation is in accordance with the preexisting Residency Policy of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct, which was updated by University President Michael Roth in August 2011.
“Wesleyan students are prohibited from using houses or property owned, leased, or operated by Greek organizations that are not recognized by the University,” the policy states. “This prohibition includes using such houses or property as residences, taking meals at such houses or property, and participating in social activities at such houses or property.”
This policy was put in place to prevent students from living in and entering the Beta house while the fraternity was not recognized by the University. In May 2011, Beta gained University recognition and became a program house. The house was closed and again declared off-limits on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley outlined the charges that students found in Beta without permission will face. Students entering without permission may face criminal charges through the Middletown Police Department.
“University charges for violating this policy may vary depending on the incident, at a minimum students would be charged with violating the residency policy (regulation 15) as well as failure to comply (regulation 14),” Whaley wrote in an email to The Argus. “Other charges may apply as well given the circumstances. Sanctions will vary, up to and including suspension. Since the property is privately-owned, the owners may charge students there without permission with trespassing as well.”
The Beta house is owned by the Raimond Duy Baird Memorial Association. Representatives of the association were unable to be reached for comment.
Culliton stated that although the space has been active in campus life since becoming a program house, he does not anticipate any problems with enforcing its closure.
“In my conversations with students, most understand why the university has taken this action and, given the consequences for doing so, I don’t anticipate that students will choose to go there,” Culliton wrote in an email to The Argus. “In addition, the national office of Beta Theta Pi has also suspended the chapter and all activities so I think that both Wesleyan and Beta Theta Pi have taken a similar stance.”