UCF rules frat did not discriminate against gay student

By : Christal Hayes
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Orlando – The University of Central Florida fraternity accused of kicking out a pledge based on his sexual orientation was found not in violation of UCF’s discrimination policy and the fraternity’s constitution on Monday.

George Dumont, 20, claimed Beta Theta Pi rejected him five days before the fall 2013 initiation because he is gay. In addition to this claim, the sophomore posted a video to his YouTube account that received more than 15,000 views and created a stir in the UCF community.

Friends in the fraternity told Dumont he had been kicked out, in part, because he is gay.

“They were ‘uncomfortable’ with things that were said. AKA they are homophobic. It’s disgusting and caused a late night meeting with me almost pulling my own pin,” read a text message to Dumont from a fraternity member.

Dumont, a former UCF cheerleader, isn’t happy with the UCF Office of Student Conduct review board’s decision and plans on relocating to Georgia to attend school. He posted a video in response to the verdict.

“I feel like I did what was right,” Dumont said. “I was told that I was kicked out for being gay. I stood up for myself. I feel like that was the right thing to do.”

The investigation has been underway since the initial claim in April, but was concluded during a two-day hearing in June. The four-person panel did not find evidence that the fraternity had kicked out Dumont because of his sexual orientation, according to a report filed after the meeting.

In its investigation, the board ruled in favor of the fraternity, which said they kicked Dumont out because of his “financial situation with relation to the fraternity, the depth at which he got to know other members, and lack of trust based on rumors and/or allegations that members of the fraternity felt he was disclosing to others,” according to the report.

The two members who sent Dumont the texts which led to his anti-gay claim said they sent the messages because they had made an assumption about his dismissal.

“They both stated they made assumptions about understanding of his removal, they completely supported the process and the fraternity’s decision,” the report said.

In his video response posted to his YouTube account June 16, Dumont said he isn’t satisfied with the verdict.

“What’s worse — actually being homophobic or lying about it?” he asked.

He also said that he thinks the fraternity should have been held accountable for those text messages.

“I feel like Beta is getting off completely scot-free,” Dumont said. “I do not believe in that.”

Beta Theta Pi said they were encouraged by the findings of the four-person panel on June 16.

“Thankfully, our young leaders demonstrated incredible patience, poise and integrity throughout this process and conducted themselves as true gentlemen and ‘men of principle,” said Martin Cobb, director of communications for Beta Theta Pi.

Cobb also said that although the organization is happy the investigation has come to a close, it was “frustrating” to deal with the situation.

“That being said, it would be disingenuous not to admit how frustrating it has been to deal with George Dumont’s inconsistent accounts of the situation and changing testimonies depending upon the audience,” Cobb said. “George pushed for a university investigation that would determine the facts of the case, and that is exactly what has happened. Following some 13 hours of questioning and testimony over two days last week, our men provided the four-person, university-appointed independent panel a response and evidence for everything asked.”

Cobb said that the whole situation has hurt the reputation of the fraternity because of the sensationalism in Dumont’s YouTube videos.

“Clearly the university’s judicial panel evaluated the facts objectively, too, and have weighed in accordingly,” Cobb said. “Beta Theta Pi’s General Fraternity remains proud of its chapter at UCF and will continue to support them in the coming days as they remain active campus leaders.”

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