The University of Florida closed a fraternity Tuesday amid allegations that its members hurled drunken insults and spat at a group of disabled veterans at a Panama City Beach resort.
The closing of Zeta Beta Tau’s fraternity comes a week after the school suspended the fraternity, which expelled three of its members after finding out about their inappropriate behavior. The school previously said it was charging the fraternity with obscene, behavior, public intoxication, theft, causing physical or other harm and damage to property.
The fraternity’s Florida chapter has 128 active members. The organization was founded in New York City in 1898 as a fraternity for Jewish students, who at the time were not allowed into other Greek organizations. The national organization agreed to the closure.
"We are absolutely disgusted by the accusations that have been made regarding the behavior of members of this chapter. ZBT has a long history of serving our country, with brothers currently serving in all ranks of the military," said ZBT Fraternity International President Matthew J. Rubins.
The Warrior Beach group says the frat members were extremely drunk and were urinating on flags, vomiting off of balconies and were verbally abusive while the two groups were at the Laketown Wharf Resort last weekend. The veterans were there for an annual retreat meant to honor their service, while the fraternity had a social gathering.
"I continue to be saddened and disappointed by the reported mistreatment and disrespect of our military veterans," University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said in a statement. "Our university has always honored, and will always honor, the service of veterans. The reported conduct of this fraternity contradicts the values of service and respect that are at the center of this university."
Members of Zeta Beta Tau from the University of Florida and Emory University in Georgia were attending their spring formals at the resort. Emory officials are investigating, but so far they found no evidence to implicate their students.
The fraternity was already on conduct probation for a hazing incident in the fall semester. The fraternity has hired its own independent investigator to find out what happened.
The Associated Press contributed to this report