Drinking, Drugs, Education / Schools, Marijuana

What, No Double-Secret Probation? Frat Sues School for $10 Million Over Suspension

As a member of a Greek life organization, you’ll be able to learn some very important lessons with the help of your brothers and sisters. For example, you’ll learn how to mix various types of liquor to create drinks that only the bravest of human beings can stomach; how to stop funneling like you’re drinking from a teacup; how to send passive-aggressive emails; how to evade police questioning; and, most importantly, how to fight for your right to party.

That last skill is coming in handy for a fraternity at Miami University in Ohio. After being suspended for their drunken antics, the frat sued the school in a $10 million lawsuit, claiming that university officials “acted recklessly and maliciously” in imposing punishment on the frat brothers. Not only did the school interfere with their right to party, but it apparently did so in an unconstitutional manner.

This sounds like Animal House, but without the double-secret probation….

The fraternity in question is Phi Kappa Tau, and this haven for rowdy bros was suspended last week after police found marijuana and large amounts of exploded and unexploded fireworks inside the house. Here’s a brief synopsis of what happened, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Police went to the house Aug. 19 after a fire alarm sounded. They said students from Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which is next door on Talawanda Road, were shooting fireworks at one another.

When police tried to investigate, they said, the students refused to let them in. The officers then obtained search warrants and entered the houses.

First of all, shooting fireworks at another house doesn’t seem like the best way to exercise your animosity toward a rival frat (but at least they weren’t shooting fireworks at each other out of their butts). Second of all, what kind of amateurs are we dealing with here? The first rule of being a member of a Greek organization is that when the cops knock on the door and you think they might come back, you HIDE EVERYTHING.

If you don’t hide everything, the cops will come in and remove it as evidence of your alleged crimes — which the fraternity’s national representatives claim is an unconstitutional invasion of the Phi Taus’ right to party:

(Yes, we know that these frat boys are being forced to move out of the house and into university apartments. That really sucks. But it’s much more entertaining if the lawsuit is read as if the Phi Kappa Tau national organization is fighting over the removal of some pipes and a lifetime supply of roofies bag of pot.)

Phi Kappa Tau claims that Miami didn’t have probable cause to suspend the fraternity from campus activities, and it’s seeking $10 million in punitive damages. This really shouldn’t be a problem for them. Guys in my high school used to get $10 million in punitive damages for stuff like this all the time; it was no big deal.

Phi Kappa Tau v. Miami University [U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio]
Suspended frat sues Miami U. for $10M [Cincinnati Enquirer]

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