Tabard faces three terms of suspension and probation

by Zachary Benjamin | 2/8/16 7:37pm

The Tabard gender-inclusive fraternity is suspended for three terms.
by The Dartmouth Staff / The Dartmouth

Last Thursday, the College suspended the Tabard gender-inclusive fraternity for three terms after the house admitted to violations of the College’s hazing, alcohol and recruiting policies, college spokesperson Diana Lawrence said. Following their period of suspension, the house will be placed on probation until the end of 2017, she said.

Hanover police department began an investigation into the Tabard’s activities last June, Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis said. He declined to comment on the current state of the investigation, as it is still ongoing. The information from the investigation has been forwarded to the Grafton County attorney’s office, he said.

The policy violations occurred last spring, assistant director for judicial affairs Katherine Strong wrote in an email. During this time, the Tabard broke College rules against hazing, hard alcohol and serving alcohol to minors, she said. In addition, the house violated Greek Letter Organizations and Societies policies against new member recruitment, which require that potential new members be sophomores or older, she said.

While suspended, the Tabard is banned from participating in or hosting any activities, according to the College’s Standards of Conduct.

Activities after the suspension ends are less restricted. While on social probation, the Tabard will be banned from serving alcohol, Strong said, but there are not restrictions on activities during College probation.

The new leadership has spoken with judicial affairs to explain the steps they plan to take to refocus and strengthen the organization, Strong said.

The Tabard is not the only Greek organization that has faced disciplinary action by the College this winter term. Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was suspended by their national fraternity for a period of at least five years last Thursday, and subsequently derecognized by the College, following violations of health and safety standards. Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority was also suspended for one term in January, to be followed by periods of social and College probation until January 2017, for violations of alcohol policies and property damage.

In the fall, the Tabard extended 10 bids to new members. This winter, the Tabard did not take any new members.

Last spring, Alpha Delta fraternity was derecognized by the College after a branding incident the previous fall while AD was suspended.

In May 2010, the Hanover Police Department charged the Tabard with two counts of serving alcohol to underage individuals, following the arrest of a 20-year-old student who had consumed 10 cups of beer while playing pong at the house. At the time, the department noted that this was not the first time the Tabard had violated laws against serving alcohol to underage individuals. The Tabard had received a previous warning in April, one of six issued by Hanover Police as part of the department’s compliance checks at Greek organization’s physical plants. The police stopped these checks after receiving heavy student criticism.

Ultimately the Tabard pleaded no contest in a plea agreement, agreeing to pay a $2,000 fine for each charge and perform 500 hours of community service over the following two years. In return the charges were reduced to Class B misdemeanors. As part of their plea agreement, the organization agreed to fully comply with the College’s alcohol policies, their attorney Tim Clark said at the time.

The Tabard co-presidents did not respond to multiple requests for comment by press time.