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Dispute Over ‘Animal House’ Frat Continues at Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. ― Dartmouth College is reinstating a policy that could block members of the fraternity that partly inspired the 1976 movie Animal House from living in its house after the school withdrew its recognition.

Alpha Delta lost its status as a recognized student organization in April after a string of disciplinary violations, including burning brands into the skin of new members.

In an email to students Monday, college officials said they are again barring students from living in unrecognized Greek organizations’ houses under a policy that had been in effect until 2011 “because we are concerned about the health and safety of our students.”

But college rules also allow such organizations to rent their houses to recognized student groups, which other unrecognized fraternities have done in the past.

Alpha Delta’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Its alumni adviser, John Engelman, told the Valley News that it was too soon to say how the fraternity will proceed.

The town of Hanover’s zoning board recently denied an appeal from the fraternity, finding that in losing its recognition as a student group, the fraternity also had lost a zoning classification that allowed it to serve as a boarding house for roughly 18 of its members.

Dartmouth’s decision to cut ties with Alpha Delta comes amid increased scrutiny of fraternities as colleges nationwide grapple with issues of high-risk drinking and sexual assault. Alpha Delta had previously been disciplined for hazing, serving alcohol to minors and hosting unregistered parties, and it was under suspension when the branding happened last fall.


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