After a Greek Council hearing last Tuesday, Oct. 28, Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) has been suspended from campus for a two-year period. Â The suspension comes following the fraternityâ€™s probationary period beginning the spring of last year. Â According to the Pike president Frankie Arndt, junior, the sanctions were following an alleged unregistered party.
â€œWe were brought in for an unregistered party that had apparently happened,â€ Arndt said. â€œThe three sanctions we were accused of were: one, an unregistered party; two, an alcohol violation; and, number three a rush violation.â€
Regarding the sanctions, Arndt felt the sanctions were unwarranted in various senses.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t an unregistered party and it wasnâ€™t during rush so how could you add on a rush violation?â€ Arndt said. â€œThe reports of the alcohol violations said here were unsafe amounts of drinkingâ€¦Everyone that was drinking was of age at this get together and the school even recognized there were people coming from an overflow of other parties.â€
In addition to criticizing the sanctions, Arndt stated that the event did not meet the criteria for an unregistered party.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t marketed by the fraternity there were not any chapter funds,â€ Arndt said. â€œAfter all that was said we were found guilty for an unregistered party which 17 percent of our organization was atâ€”there were only five members there.â€
With the deliberations regarding the incident closed, members of Greek Council were unable to comment on the steps and proceedings of the hearings.
â€œIn the original hearing they were found to be in violation of policies of the university and to some Greek Council policies,â€ John Pederson, Greek Council menâ€™s co-chair, said. â€œThat finding of responsibility in context of their current probationary status and judicial history allowed us to assign them that two-year suspension. In Trinity University standards, that means they canâ€™t wear those letters on campus. They canâ€™t reserve spaces on campus or organize and co-host any events on or off campusâ€”that includes meetings of any sort or any recruitment and orientation processes.â€
In regards to the punishments following the sanctions, Arndt found the results to be an infringement of his rights as a student and was shocked by the decision.
â€œThey basically took away our First Amendment by telling us we canâ€™t wear our letters and we are not allowed to hang out in groups because that can be associated with a fraternity meetingâ€”itâ€™s a big thing,â€ Arndt said. â€œFor the protection of the studentsâ€™ rights, thatâ€™s ridiculous, though we will respect our sanction even though we donâ€™t agree with it at all.â€
Alongside his criticisms towards the sanctions, Arndt noted the damage this outcome will have on the organization.
â€œIt just seems strange to me that this was choreographed perfectly by the school. They took away a pledge class last year they gave us a two -year suspension,â€ Arndt said. â€œOur youngest pledge class graduates in two years so they said to us in an email it gives us a chance to rebuildâ€”how are we supposed to rebuild as an organization without anyone here?â€
In regards to this critique, Pederson made note of the other responses by various Greek organizations that have faced similar situations.
â€œThe four organizations sanctioned in 2012 had some of the biggest turnarounds with recruitment last year, there is definitely potential for positivity,â€ Pederson said.
While the 2012 sanctions were from university action, the Pikes faced sanctions from Greek Council.
â€œGreek Council and university actions are different, separate,â€ said Briana McGlamory, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life. â€œ[The 2012 incidents] werenâ€™t through Greek Council, it was a different hearing process.â€
While on a probationary period following cases from the spring of 2013, Arndt mentioned the fraternityâ€™s recent charity events and new action plan towards the issue of sexual assault.
â€œIâ€™m sure they are saying we have a history of this, but we have implemented an action plan, and CCI has told us they are pleased with how well we are executing our action plan and we have been out of trouble since the beginning of last year,â€ Arndt said. â€œIt just seems that even when the good things we do are questioned by the school you are kind of in a lose-lose scenario.â€
The Pikeâ€™s probationary period was following two cases in the spring of last year, leading to their inability to take a new pledge class and the probationary status.
â€œThere were two specific cases in the spring; the first in the spring semester led to their inability to take a new member class on bid day and another case, maybe a month later, and the outcome was probation through orientation through 2015,â€ McGlamory said.
Currently, while already dealt the sanctions, Pi Kappa Alpha is in an appeals process with the Greek Council. Greek Council, made of 10 executive members, randomly assigns four members to any hearing alongside the judicial chair.
â€œThe remaining five members did not hear any of the initial deliberation and are eligible to be on our appeal board,â€ said Pederson.
This is done by Greek Council to make sure there are no conflicts of interest and to eliminate any biases that may arise from different cases.
â€œThey donâ€™t all serve on each case and that information, we donâ€™t discuss cases with the rest of the members,â€ McGlamory said. â€œThe deliberations are private and not discussed with the restâ€”itâ€™s a random draw.â€
In the midst of the situation, Pederson noted the climate of the Greek community and Trinity, calling upon all organizations to help support each other through the process.
â€œThe Greek community is close-knit here, we get to see each other succeed in things,â€ Pederson said. â€œWe have called on the entire Greek community to be an extra support system for each other as everyone hears this information.â€
The outcome of the situation has left Arndt in awe, with Greek Councilâ€™s decision leaving a precedent for the community of students at Trinityâ€”around one quarter of the student body.
â€œIf they do decide to keep the original sanctions, there is precedent being setâ€”Greek Council in general has instilled a fear into every Greek organization rather than coming together collectively and helping each other out,â€ Arndt said. â€œI feel there is always a fear of getting in trouble based on pressure put on by the heads, and people talk about it but when it comes to doing something about it theyâ€™re afraid because more attention will be drawn to them.â€