June 13, 2003
UCSC revokes fraternity's recognition over fish
UC Santa Cruz announced today (June 13) that it has "revoked recognition"
of the Delta Omega Chi fraternity over an incident last month that resulted
in the death of a campus koi fish. The revocation, which is permanent,
means that the campus has severed all ties to the fraternity. Without
UCSC affiliation, the fraternity will no longer have access to campus
services or facilities.
Campus outcry follows MTV shoot
The filming this spring of UCSCs Delta Omega Chi fraternity
by MTV for its hit reality show, "Fraternity Life,"
has prompted discussions across campus about the value of this
type of national television coverage, the role of Greek organizations
at UCSC, and expectations regarding student conduct. More
"Our investigation into this matter has resulted in a finding
of responsibility for Delta Omega Chi fraternity," said Doug Zuidema,
director of UCSC's Student Judicial Affairs Office. "We have revoked
recognition of the fraternity based on our conclusion that members of
the organization were involved in the removal of the fish from the pond
and its death."
UCSC police investigated the matter after a rare mature Hikari Ogon
Japanese Koi disappeared on the evening of May 20 from a pond at Porter
College, one of the campus's 10 residential colleges. Campus police
took the case to the Santa Cruz County District's Attorney's Office
Zuidema's office, meanwhile, launched its own investigation to determine
if the organization or any individuals had violated UCSC's code of student
In announcing his finding regarding Delta Omega Chi, Zuidema said the
fraternity had chosen not to appeal the the campus's decision. "They
have accepted the sanction," he said.
The Student Judicial Affairs Office's investigation into individuals
who participated in the incident at Porter College pond has not been
completed. But Zuidema estimated that part of his investigation should
be concluded by early next week.
Federal privacy laws prevent the university from disclosing judicial
findings against individual students. However, if students are found
to have violated university rules, Zuidema said, they would be subject
to discipline ranging from a warning to dismissal.
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