So, the Phi Delts messed up: Was the punishment too harsh
or did it fit the crime?
September 27, 2002
Kudos to the Greek Review Board. The decision made last spring against
Phi Delta Theta for having a stripper at a pledge event-a three semester-long
suspension-was definitely fitting.
Maybe it is easy for me to say this because I am not in the fraternity,
but from a common sense, outsider's point of view, everything that went
down seems fitting.
It is very simple. If the IFC Constitution states that rush events must
be designed in "good taste" and strippers show up, the violator
of the rule must be punished, point blank.
However, the issue at hand here is whether the punishment actually fit
That is definitely a no-brainer; of course it did! Why should the board
be lenient? That simply states that crossing the line is okay and promotes
an attitude of "well, if they let me do it this time, I guess I can
do it again."
And apparently this was the case because the Phi Delts had in fact been
told to watch themselves because they have a reputation on campus for being
a "party-hardy" fraternity.
Now, you would think that with a warning, the guys could wait a couple
more weeks to get some strippers for their pledges.
So this time, the board was showing the Phi Delts-as well as the other
Greek organizations on campus-that they really meant business.
Unfortunately it had to happen to someone and the Phi Delts just picked
a real inopportune time to mess up. Was it personal? No, just business.
I think they just wanted to show the other fraternities and sororities
on campus that they should really watch what they do. And who knows, if
the board lets them slide, the other Greeks would have thought it is okay
to cross the line with their respective organizations.
Another part of the punishment was to not allow them to wear their letters
on campus. Did this have anything to do with what they did? No, but I'm
sure that by tacking that punishment on, there is a better chance that they
will watch what they do more carefully.
I'm pretty sure that every Greek organization on campus has screwed
up and done something they have regretted. In Amanda's words above, I'm
sure they have all done "tacky, tasteless, stupid" things. But
this was the first time word got out to someone on the board that an organization
had done something of that nature. Essentially, this was the first time
one of the organizations actually got caught.
And yes, I'm sure the Phi Delts do great work for the community, but
good work does not necessarily cancel out something bad you did. I mean,
if someone deterred a robbery from happening, then the next day carjacked
someone, it does not exactly make up for the crime committed. They would
still have to serve the same amount of time or face the same punishment.
It's a shame that the Phi Delts did this. Being a fraternity in a conservative
small town and an even smaller conservative university, they should have
known that there was a possibility the board was going to make a decision
Honestly, this could have happened to any of the Greeks on campus. The
amount of support they received after the ruling was made was pretty incredible.
It shows that not all is lost; the Phi Delts still have supporters, and
the board is now seen as an something to watch out for.
Basically, this whole situation was unfortunate, but very simple. The
fraternity knew of the possible consequences, but never anticipated such
a punishment. If the Phi Delts did not want to get burned, they should not
have played with fire.
Tim Tevault, a junior journalism major, is editorial director and
copy chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.