Beta Theta Pi disbanded for time being, expected to return in future

The Sigma Rho chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus was shut down, according to the University Public Affairs office and the national office of the fraternity.

“(We disbanded the chapter because of their) inability to create lasting and meaningful and significant enough change with adherence to our policies,” said Judson Horra, administrative secretary for the national office of the fraternity.

Horra would not comment on the specific instances that caused the closing.

Tommy Carrato, president of the Interfraternity Council at the University, said there were instances where Beta Theta Pi was in front of the IFC judicial board. He was unable to comment about the individual cases’ details.

However, it is the fraternity’s own national administrators that disbanded the Sigma Rho chapter, Carrato said.

“Their national office decided to close their chapter and decided to do so within the last week or so. The decision didn’t have anything to do with the Interfraternity Council or the University of Illinois Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Office,” he added.

President of the Sigma Rho chapter Anthony Farella said in a statement that the decision was made because of minor incidents spread over the course of the last decade. The decision was not based on a single occurrence.

“We as an active chapter are in disagreement with this decision, and our alumni base has shown us great support since the decision was made,” the statement said.

It also said the chapter and its alumni are working together to maximize their chances of overturning the decision.

“Their definition of small and minor (instances) would not be shared with the general fraternity,” Horra said.

According to the national fraternity’s Web site, the chapter was on probation.

Carrato said that because the Sigma Rho chapter is no longer affiliated with their national fraternity, it is no longer a member of IFC.

The future of this Greek house on campus is unclear. Carrato said because the national fraternity closed down the individual chapter, the national fraternity can decide whether to reinstate the chapter’s charter and allow it to stay on campus.

The Sigma Rho chapter is only temporarily disbanded and average closures are usually between two and four years long.

“We plan to some day return our presence at the University of Illinois campus,” Horras said.