Recognition revoked for 3 UC Berkeley fraternities due to hazing

photo of frat row
Anissa Nishioka/Staff
As a result of hazing-related activities, three campus fraternities —  Theta Delta Chi, Chi Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon — were officially unrecognized by campus.

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Three UC Berkeley fraternities have been officially unrecognized by campus due to hazing-related activities.

Theta Delta Chi and Chi Phi have had their recognition revoked through January 2026, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had its recognition revoked through January 2029, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.

While Ratliff noted specific details cannot be shared at this time due to federal and state privacy laws as well as UC policy, campus confirmed that the revocations are a result of alleged hazing activities.

Hazing is defined in the campus Code of Student Conduct as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a campus organization or activity that causes or is likely to cause “physical injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in psychological harm to any student or other person.”

ASUC Senator Muz Ahmad, who represents students involved in Greek life, stressed the importance of holding Greek organizations that violate campus guidelines accountable.

“It is important that every fraternity acknowledges these issues taking place within the Greek community, and takes the necessary steps to root it out of their chapters,” Ahmad said in an email. “Break the cycle.”

When a fraternity or sorority becomes unrecognized, the group may not receive any campus advising, training or support services and is prohibited from recruiting members on campus until after the revocation period is over, Ratliff explained.

Ahmad added revocation of campus recognition for a fraternity likely means they will have recognition revoked by their national fraternity as well, meaning they can no longer have representative Greek letters on their houses.

Additionally, unrecognized chapters are no longer associated with the Interfraternity Council, or IFC, or the Panhellenic Council, or PHC, Ahmad noted.

This results in the groups being unable to obtain a fire permit necessary for social gatherings. If gatherings are held without a permit, the group can be subject to criminal charges for “jeopardizing the safety of party-goers,” according to Ahmad.

He claims the PHC prohibits members in its sororities from visiting unrecognized fraternities due to safety reasons.

“Essentially, unrecognized chapters are demoted to nothing more than a house of individuals paying rent to live there,” Ahmad said in the email.

ASUC Senator Kalliope Zervas, who also represents students involved in Greek life, alleged that the IFC and PHC still allow members to attend parties at unrecognized fraternities.

Zervas believes that revocation of recognition is not enough to hold fraternities accountable.

“Students can still rush the fraternity, go to parties at the fraternities, and do social events with sororities–virtually unregulated,” Zervas said in an email. “In fact, revoking one’s affiliation with the University while allowing them to keep their physical house actually gives the fraternity more freedom to do what they please.”

The “most serious” disciplinary action against a student group is revocation of recognition, according to Ratliff.

As of spring 2022, campus has 11 unrecognized fraternities and one unrecognized sorority, according to the LEAD Center website, which advises students not to join unrecognized groups.

Given that these groups are no longer governed by campus regulations and do not receive critical campus services, UC Berkeley also “strongly recommends” recognized CalGreek fraternities and sororities do not participate in any events or activities with unrecognized groups, Ratliff said.

“While several of these organizations are working towards being re-recognized by UC Berkeley, many of these groups potentially put students at risk and unsafe situations by hosting parties and other social events that do not align with campus policies, practices, and standards,” Ratliff said in an email.

The IFC and the aforementioned fraternities did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.

Ratliff added that if a student experiences or witnesses hazing, or suspects someone they know has experienced hazing, they can report it to the campus through the Center for Student Conduct or to staff in the Fraternity and Sorority Life division in the LEAD Center.

Contact Lydia Sidhom at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @SidhomLydia .