So, the Phi Delts messed up: Was the punishment too harsh or did it fit the crime?



Campus Times
September 27, 2002


by Amanda Stutevoss
Editor in Chief

Last spring was full of surprises and gossip at the University of La Verne. But what else is new, right? I will admit that it made going to ULV invigorating; everywhere I looked, drama swirled around me.

The most exciting drama that occured was the ever-popular Phi Delta Theta scandal. During spring rush, Phi Delta Theta made the fatal mistake of having potential new members at an off-campus rush event where strippers were present. (Strippers, booze and bad taste: What more could a guy ask for?)

This mistake went against strict rush rules laid down by the Inter-Fraternity Council's Code of Conduct and went against rush rules that the other two fraternities on campus were following.

Being the small school that ULV is, word passed through campus of this event and eventually got back to the advisers of the Greek Review Board, which turned this blunder into a catastrophe of massive proportion and resulted in a three-semester suspension for the organization.

Here is the breakdown.

Phi Delta Theta is an organization that is well respected on campus. Not only are the men of Phi Delta Theta involved in all aspects of campus life (from student government to sports), they are also highly regarded by the student body and members of the faculty and staff for everything they do.

Since the decision to suspend the fraternity, students and faculty can feel the missing presence of the fraternity.

I am not a part of the Greek system, but as a friend of many Greek students here at La Verne, I felt their pain.

Losing the Phi Delts not only hurt the morale of the Greek system, but it bruised the reputation that the Greek system has been trying to establish, devoid of stereotypes.

The rules that they broke are obvious to all. According to the IFC Constitution, Article III Section 4, part A, "All rush events and and rush publicity must be designed in good taste as defined in the Fraternity Rush Policies.

A fine of $500 shall be imposed for each time the fraternity rush committee deems rush publicity in bad taste or unacceptable."

Five hundred dollars? What ever happened to that policy? Why did that go out the window? It makes me wonder if the punishment was more of a personal vendetta against the Phi Delts rather than a punishment that the Greek Review Board thought fit the crime.

And seriously, what is all this nonsense about the Phi Delts not being able to wear their letters on campus? What does restricting them from wearing their letters do? Nothing. It does not make up for the wrong that was committed; it just makes the Greek Review Board look rigid and simple-minded.

What was the Greek Review Board thinking when it handed down these sanctions? It was a stripper; they did not commit murder.

Other organizations on campus, non-Greek and Greek alike, do stupid things, but the difference with the Phi Delts is they actually got caught-or, should I say, they got ratted on-and are now paying the price. Other organizations get a slap on the wrist for their mistakes, while the Phi Delts get a kick in the rear.

All organizations should be governed equally. However, this situation was blown out of proportion and the sanction was taken to the extreme.

Let's point out the obvious. They made a mistake. A tacky, tasteless and, for lack of a better word, stupid mistake. I believe that they regret the mistake they made that fateful night.

But let's be real: a three-semester suspension seems a hair on the harsh side. Boys will be boys and apparently the Greek Review Board will be heavy handed.

Amanda Stutevoss, a senior broadcasting and journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at astute4@aol.com.