A student at the University of Central Florida is claiming that the Beta Theta Pi fraternity kicked him out of pledging because he is gay.
In a YouTube video posted last Thursday, sophomore George Dumont claims he was “balled,” or removed, from Beta Theta Pi’s Fall 2013 pledge process five days before initiation because of his sexual orientation.
Dumont would later go on to file a report with the UCF Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life detailing the allegations.
In the video, Dumont claims to “have done some digging” and provides a screenshot of a text conversation in what he says is between himself and a brother of Beta Theta Pi.
He asks: “Was there a reason why?”
“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,” the text reads.
The name on the text is blacked out.
According to documents obtained by KnightNews.com, Dumont waited until Feb. 4 to report the incident to UCF. He spoke to Clay Coleman, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, who then filed a report with the Just Knights Response Team — a new program launched this spring aimed at enhancing the resources available on campus for students who are the victims or witnesses of bias.
“The entire reason behind my removal from the Zeta Psi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at the University of Central Florida was simple; I was an openly gay man,” Dumont wrote in his report.
Coleman met with Beta Theta Pi President Nathanael Jones, and their Chapter Advisor, Dan Farmer, on Feb. 13 to discuss the allegations, according to documents obtained by KnightNews.com. In the meeting, Jones stated that “[they] have several openly gay brothers” and denied the allegations.
There is no record of Coleman’s proceedings for the next 33 days. According to the OFSL report, he would meet with chapter representatives once more March 18 “regarding concern.”
KnightNews.com reached out to Beta Theta Pi, who declined an on camera interview. The fraternity did, however, issue a statement and denied any wrongdoing.
“The men of Beta Theta Pi are certainly disappointed by the recent video statement indicating our chapter is intolerant based upon one’s sexual orientation,” Beta Theta Pi President Nat Jones said. “Consistent with how our Fraternity passed legislation in 2006 codifying that sexual orientation cannot be used as a basis for determining one’s membership, a gay student who also belonged to our pledge class last fall was initiated as a full member in November and is now enjoying the full rights and responsibilities of Beta membership.”
“Our brothers have gay relatives and gay friends, and we have long prided ourselves on being an inclusive fraternity that values diversity in all forms – no matter the race, religion, creed, nationality, age, socio-economic background, disability or sexual orientation,” Jones said. “Of course, it is naturally difficult for all involved any time an individual is released from membership – whether it be during the pledging process or as a fully initiated member – but our hope is that everyone can move forward positively and in support of each other’s goals and aspirations in the months and years to come.”
The fraternity offered no alternative explanation for Dumont’s removal.
In the meantime, Dumont began a Tumblr page called ‘Worth Fighting For’ where he discusses the allegations.
“Hey y’all! I was kicked out of my fraternity for being an Openly Gay Male and so I took action! I am currently fighting for my situation and this blog is to keep everyone who is Fighting with and Supporting me up-to-date with the Progress being made!,” Dumont wrote in the about me section of the page.
The original YouTube video, titled “GAYS KICKED OUT OF FRATERNITY,” has gained over 13,000 views in just six days.
KnightNews.com also reached out to UCF who told us the situation is “still under review for student conduct.”
“Regarding the status of the Just Knights Response Team efforts, the student and the fraternity have agreed to meet to discuss the student’s concerns,” UCF spokesperson Chad Binette said. “Just Knights Response Team members will serve as facilitators for that conversation.”
KnightNews.com will continue to follow UCF’s investigation. Continue to check back for more information on this story.
Click NEXT PAGE to view the report submitted by Dumont.