By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com April 21 2014 1:33 PM ET
A University of Central Florida student is claiming that he was removed from a fraternity pledging process because he's gay.
Sophomore George Dumont alleged in a YouTube video posted April 10 that he had been “balled,” or removed from the pledge group of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, just five days before initiation into the UCF chapter last fall. Dumont believes it is because of his sexual orientation.
The video shows a text message exchange between Dumont and a Beta Theta Pi member whose name was blacked out. When Dumont asked “was there a reason” for his removal, the brother implied it was because members of the group were “uncomfortable” with Dumont’s sexual orientation.
“They were ‘uncomfortable’ with things that were said,” the text stated, referring to an incident that preceded Dumont’s expulsion, in which he told the group about the activities he was involved in on campus. “Aka they are homophobic. It’s disgusting and caused a late night meeting with me almost pulling my own pin.”
In February, Dumont approached Clay Coleman, the school’s director of Greek life, who assisted him in filing a report of his allegations, reports UCF news source KnightNews.com. Within this report, Dumont said, “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 has since met with representatives of the fraternity, including its president, Nathanael Jones, who denied the allegations of discrimination. Jones later issued a statement to KnightNews.com reiterating this stance.
“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,” 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,” he continued. “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.”
A representative of Beta Theta Pi has yet to offer a reason for Dumont's sudden removal from the pledging process.
Watch Dumont’s video below: