After a two-day hearing held earlier this week, a UCF review board has ruled Beta Theta Pi fraternity did not kick out a pledge because of his sexual orientation on Monday.
The former pledge, George Dumont, 20, isn’t happy with the decision and has decided to transfer from the University of Central Florida to a university in Georgia. Dumont addressed the verdict in a YouTube video that he posted on his account.
The UCF review of the case was first reported in the Orlando Sentinel last night.
Five days before the fall 2013 initiation, Dumont, a sophomore majoring in marketing, claimed the fraternity Beta Theta Pi rejected him because he was gay. He posted a video to his YouTube account that went viral, having more than 15,000 views before being deleted.
Dumont said the allegations started when friends in the fraternity told him he had been kicked out, in part, because of his sexual orientation. A member of the fraternity sent him a text message saying that “homophobic” members were behind his removal, he said.
The members who told Dumont his dismissal was due to his sexual orientation acknowledged they had sent text messages, but also told the review board that they did not attend the meetings where the votes to kick him out were cast. Both admitted that they had “made assumptions about the reasons for his removal and sent the text messages out of impulse and frustration,” the report said.
The panel, which was comprised of four members, did not find any information that the fraternity discriminated against Dumont because of his sexual orientation, according to a report filed after the hearing.
UCF notified the fraternity chapter after the two-day investigation that it had been found “not in violation” of any university policies.
Dumont, who wasn’t satisfied by the verdict, said the fraternity should have been held accountable for those text messages.
“What’s worse — actually being homophobic or lying about it?” he asked Monday, after learning the review board verdict.
Martin Cobb, the spokesman for Beta Theta Pi wasn’t initially able to comment on the review decision to KnightNews.com, but did tell the Orlando Sentinel that the officials were “incredibly encouraged” by the findings.
After KnightNews.com posted the story, Cobb released a statement to KnightNews.com stating “it has been challenging to overcome the damage done to the reputation of our young men at UCF…”
Cobb went on to say “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.”
Dumont said he didn’t regret coming forward about the situation and hopes his story can help others.
“I hope that my story continues to impact people and help people move on from situations, whether they choose to move on by standing up for themselves or if they choose to be at peace with what happened to them,” Dumont said. “I know that it already has helped people and I hope it continues to.”
Dumont doesn’t plan on taking any further action against the UCF fraternity.
“Even though I’m not technically victorious, I really am,” he said