WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - When anonymous Instagram accounts started popping up which allowed American University students to share stories of racism and sexual assault linked to Greek life on campus, Graham Payne-Reichert and his brothers knew they needed to have a conversation about how their fraternity would respond.
Payne-Reichert says the 26 members in the chapter of Delta Tau Delta voted unanimously on June 28 to disaffiliate from the fraternity, saying it played a role in perpetuating racism, misogyny and abuse.
The former members also urged other Greeks at AU to do the same.
"It was pretty abundantly clear that Greek life in general creates and perpetuates predominantly white spheres and I personally didn't realize my role in remaining complicit in that system," said Payne-Reichert.
Another former member said improving the organization from inside wasn't enough.
"It's become apparent to us over the last few years that no matter what reforms we put in place what we tried to do is at the end of the day it's a bigger problem. It's an institutional problem. So it became clear to us this is the step we have to take," said Max Lempert.
The Washington Post reports what the AU chapter of Delta Tau Delta did is part of a nationwide trend, where hundreds of students at colleges are stepping away from their majority-white Greek organizations. They're linking the move to the racial reckoning after the police killing of George Floyd as well.
FOX 5 has yet to receive a comment from the national office of Delta Tau Delta, but in a statement to American University's student newspaper The Eagle, the organization's CEO said it would seek to rebuild the chapter with different men.