Florida Fraternity Suspended for Disrespecting Wounded Military Veterans

It's been a whole five minutes since we heard an unfortunate story involving a college fraternity. Spoke too soon because a University of Florida frat has just been suspended, after it was already on a one-year probation for a hazing incident, because some of its members reportedly spit on and harassed wounded military veterans who were attending a retreat in Panama City Beach.

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The university has charged Zeta Beta Tau with "causing physical or other harm, obscene behavior, public intoxication, theft, and property damage" and the school is looking into allegations that its members yelled at wounded veterans, spat on them, and may have urinated on the American flag.

Oh boy. The vets were attending the biannual Warrior Beach Retreat at the Laketown Wharf Resort on April 17, at the same time the fraternity took part in a spring social at the resort. Frat members reportedly ripped flags from the vets' cars. spat on them, threw beer bottles off of hotel balconies, and may have urinated on an American flag. Students from Emory University were also at the spring social, but none have been implicated in this incident.

Three Zeta Beta Tau members have been expelled from the frat and the school has promised to take serious disciplinary action against any other members whom they discover were involved in this ludicrous behavior.

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The University of Florida's own vice president of student affairs, David Kratzer, is a retired U.S. Army general who, as you can imagine, didn't take kindly to this news. He issued the following statement: "I am personally offended and disappointed by the behavior that has been described to me. This is not representative of our students or of the university."

As a result of this incident, campus police now have to camp out in front of the fraternity because a lot of angry people, including vets, are staging protests in front of their building. I feel for the young men who are part of this frat and would never even think of doing something like this, but you either stand with your group when something like this happens, or you separate from them if you feel they've gone too far.

I don't think we're going to stop hearing stories like these about fraternities because a) we're looking for them now and they seem pretty easy to find and b) anytime you get a bunch of young people together in a group and they develop a group mentality, a few of them are going to act out and become the poison apples that spoil the bunch.

These frat members acted disrespectfully toward people who deserve their respect. I applaud the university for standing with the vets and making it clear they aren't about to tolerate this behavior.

What consequence do you think this fraternity should face for disrespecting wounded veterans?

 

Image via US Department of Agriculture/Flickr

 

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