The University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu is facing suspension from its national office after members trashed a ski resort, causing more than $50,000 in damages. According to a Detroit Free Press report, pictures taken of the resort show damage to the walls, ceilings, windows, furniture and carpeting. The fraternity is facing an investigation from the university and could face criminal charges for the damage.
The fraternity had 120 fraternity and sorority members at the Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Michigan for a ski weekend. The students are being accused by resort operators of trashing hotel rooms and hallways during their stay during the Jan. 17-18 weekend. Treetops general manager Barry Owens described the scene as “a malicious destruction of property.” Owens said crews have been working 16 hours a day all week long to undo the destruction done by the fraternity.
The Treetops Resort regularly has college students and fraternity groups visit, but according to Owens, this is the first time that the resort has seen these types of problems. University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed that the students were involved in the incident and released a statement saying, “We are very disappointed in the behavior of some of our students during a weekend visit to two northern Michigan ski resorts. I want to assure you that the organizations and the individuals involved will be held accountable for their actions.”
The Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity issued a statement to ABC News, saying, “We are embarrassed and ashamed of the behavior of a few of our chapter members at Treetops Resort over the weekend of January 17-18. This behavior is inconsistent with the values, policies, and practices of this organization.”
Chapter president Joshua Kaplan released a statement saying that the fraternity will be working with the management of the resort to pay for all damages and cleaning costs. The Treetops resort reportedly hasn’t billed the fraternity for the damages yet or made a decision about whether to pursue criminal charges against the vandals, although there is a criminal investigation ongoing with the Michigan State Police.