In a matter of ten days, the Phi Kappa Tau chapter at Miami University (that’s the one in Ohio) has gone from moving in for the year to suing the University for $10 million. The Cincinnati Inquirer report that the lawsuit claims that “university officials acted recklessly and maliciously when they imposed the punishment,” and, “the suspension interferes with the fraternity’s business operations, unfairly burdens student members and violates the members’ constitutional rights.”
The basic timeline is that the fireworks incident took place on August 19th, the chapter was suspended by their own national organization on August 21st, was placed on summary suspension by the University on August 23rd (along with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter), and filed a $10 million lawsuit on August 28th. The summary suspensions were pending the outcome of an investigation, and both houses were vacated (with many members forced to move in to on-campus housing).
I would love to read this lawsuit. I am guessing that it was filed by the undergraduate chapter (possibly with the assistance of a “helpful” alumnus). It might have been a good idea if whoever filed the lawsuit had walked across town to the national fraternity’s headquarters and talked to General Counsel. It might have also been a good idea to allow the investigation to happen.
Just a free piece of advice for this chapter – own up to your mistakes, demonstrate a willingness to live your fraternal values, and you might have a future with Phi Tau, and at Miami. Filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit is not a winning move!