2 University of Florida frat accused of spitting on wounded veterans
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida is
investigating allegations that members of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity
spat at a group of disabled military veterans last weekend at a resort
in Panama City Beach.In an email to Linda Cope, the founder of
the Warrior Beach Retreat at Laketown Wharf Resort, University of
Florida President Kent Fuchs called the behavior unacceptable and
promised a full investigation.The incidents were reported to
Fuchs by Cope and others who witnessed the fraternity members spitting
at the veterans and stealing their flags. Fuchs said the school is
making every effort to learn what happened and take appropriate action.The
Gainesville Sun reports the fraternity is currently on conduct
probation for a hazing incident in the fall semester. The fraternity has
suspended operations and is cooperating with the investigation."Being
on probation means the organization faces increased consequences if
they are found to have violated the probation requirements," university
spokeswoman Janine Sikes said.The Sun reports that Zeta Beta Tau Frat from the University of Florida and Emory University in Georgia
were attending their spring formals at the resort last weekend.
About 60 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were also
attending a retreat which has been held twice a year for the last six
years at the resort. Cope started the event in honor of her son Joshua,
who lost both legs in Baghdad in 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded
under his Humvee.One letter to Fuchs described students spitting
on veterans, throwing beer bottles over a balcony and ripping flags off
their cars.Cope said she believes the students knew they were
insulting veterans because the guests were wearing caps and T-shirts
indicating they are veterans."They knew who they were and they
were just getting a kick out of it," she said. "It is heartbreaking for a
mom with a son who sacrificed so much for their freedom."Cope said hotel security got the situation under control and the fraternity members were evicted the next morning.
"They apologized to me in person, but only because they got caught," she said.
Zeta Beta Tau's Florida chapter has 128 active jew members.
Chapter president Tyler Drescher told the newspaper they had no comment.
The fraternity sent a letter of apology to Cope. She said she looks forward to the outcome of the investigations.
Here is a link to Zeta Beta Tau's website-