ATO loses charter after reoccurring problems

By Jessica Nath | The Duquesne Duke

Alpha Tau Omega is no longer on Duquesne’s campus after the fraternity’s national headquarters revoked its charter this summer.

According to Rebecca Jamrozik Mickler, director of the Office of Greek Life, Duquesne decided to temporarily suspend the fraternity last spring.

The Rev. Sean Hogan, executive vice president of student life, said the suspension was only intended to last until Christmas.

“The University had suspended them for the semester,” Hogan said. “There were some issues that were contrary to Duquesne’s mission.”

In a statement, Susan Monahan, Director of Student Conduct, said ATO had problems with “hazing, underage use of alcohol and violation of the Greek Life Risk Management policy.”

Mickler said there was not one specific incident that resulted in the fraternity’s suspension, but rather an accumulation of reoccurring issues.

“Over the last couple of years, the University assigned educational sanctions in hopes of helping the group succeed,” Monahan’s statement said. “Unfortunately the fraternity continued to violate policy.”

When deciding to suspend a fraternity, the Office of Greek Life takes into consideration reports of incidents off campus and past sanctions, Mickler said.

But late this summer, Alpha Tau Omega’s national headquarters announced it had decided to go a step further and revoke the Duquesne chapter’s charter indefinitely.

According to Mickler, the national organization felt the behavior of Duquesne’s chapter was not in line with their mission.

A portion of the fraternity’s creed – found on ATO’s official website – states their mission is “To bind men together in a brotherhood based upon eternal and immutable principles.”

Mickler said in the seven years she has worked at Duquesne, she has not seen a fraternity get its charter removed.

“It’s a very difficult experience to close a fraternity – it’s sad to see you losing a group,” Mickler said. “You see all the compassion that these men have for their fraternity, but you have to do what is right.”

Mickler said her office plans to have a conference call with the ATO national headquarters in October to discuss a return date – but she could not give an estimate as to when that return would be.

Members of Duquesne’s chapter of ATO and their advisers declined to comment.