COLUMBIA, SC — Alpha Tau Omega, one of the oldest fraternities on the University of South Carolina campus, will have its charter revoked for a year in 2013 and plans to reorganize in 2014, the fraternitys national chief executive said Tuesday.
The school withdrew recognition of ATO this spring after a police search of the house turned up drugs last year, The Daily Gamecock student newspaper reported. The chapter also was among several fraternities cited for violating alcohol policies during rush last year.
The chapter remained active in the current school year and has met off campus.
Revoking the charter could allow ATO to reorganize two years sooner than originally planned. The chapter was banished by the school until 2016 under the original punishment handed down earlier this year, fraternity chief executive Wynn Smiley said.
ATO revoked the charter temporarily as part of an arrangement with the school, Smiley said. But USC said it had no agreement with ATO and provided no other details.
Smiley said the charter revocation had nothing to do with the 118-year-old chapters remaining 70 members: They have been exemplary.
Chapter president Brett Bowman expects members still on campus in 2014 to help reorganize the fraternity. He credited the backing of the national organization for keeping open the chapter one of the fraternitys five oldest in the nation.
Its a testament to the guys in the room, Bowman said. We tried everything to stay as long as we could.
At least two other USC fraternities have been disciplined in the past year, according to reports from The Daily Gamecock.
Sigma Phi Epsilon was closed by its national office and Lambda Chi Alpha left its house after the national office removed a majority of the chapters members.