Published: Monday, June 25, 2012
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 14:07
Following a hearing Tuesday, June 19, the Student Conduct Committee has recommended “unanimously and with no reservations” that Delta Upsilon’s charter be revoked.
The organization was charged with 15 violations of the Student Handbook and Student Conduct Code and found guilty of all but two: “hazing and quantity of alcohol,” Interim Dean of Students Jodie Frey wrote in an email to former undergraduate DU President Alec Eidelman.
Frey informed Eidelman in an email dated June 14 that the fraternity was subject to a Student Conduct Committee hearing after “hosting social events violating various facets of College policy including its alcohol policies.” She referred to two specific events: the party at the chapter house April 10-11 and “the recruitment of a first year student to events involving alcohol.”
The evidence for these violations? Three public safety incident reports and copies of six email blasts from “DU Rush” discovered on the computer of freshman Everett Glenn, according to DU President William Messick ’68.
DU was first placed on emergency temporary suspension after the April party. A sister of the Delta Delta Delta sorority that was co-hosting the flannel and funnels themed event had to be taken to the hospital.
DU planned to reorganize. All members were to be interviewed and then asked to sign an agreement to show “whether or not they’re willing to go forward and live by the rules,” Messick said.
But tragedy halted the process.
Glenn was found unresponsive in his Kirby House dorm May 5 and later pronounced dead at Easton Hospital.
Though the Northampton County coroner has yet to release the official cause of death, initial reports indicate that it was alcohol-related.
May 5 was Glenn’s birthday and also All College Day. The official, college-sponsored event took place on March Field and had heavy security to curb drinking (no backpacks or bags allowed). But drinking occurred anyway across campus.
“It’s not always a line that’s easy to walk between enforcing that policy so stringently that students get rebellious or take their drinking underground…and openly permitting it, which we don’t do,” President Daniel Weiss said at the time. “We try to find the right line to keep everyone safe and it’s not easy.”
Greek organizations have a decades-old tradition of inviting freshmen to early morning All College Day celebrations. In Greek speak, it’s called “Mad Dog.”
“We received information that various fraternities were waking people up at 0400 hours on 05 May 12,” Assistant Director of Public Safety James Meyer wrote in an incident report dated May 24.
A DU Rush email dated May 1 proclaiming an “Early Morning Wakeup” was found on Glenn’s computer. However, the college provided no evidence that he had been drinking with DU. Glenn, who was on multiple rush lists, had reportedly been drinking with another fraternity.
“What do those emails prove? That whoever sent the emails invited Everett Glenn and possibly others to recruitment events,” Messick said. “It shows a lack of judgment, as some of the emails infer that alcohol will be present. However, unless someone comes forward that was at these events, who can say?”
College officials would not comment on the hearing due to its “confidential” nature. In addition, Frey said, “Members of the conduct committee are not permitted to discuss conduct cases.”
To Messick, the issue at hand is larger than Greek life.
“We aren’t teaching our 2,400 students how to look out for one another,” he said. “And we’re not reducing binge drinking.”
Though Executive Director Justin Kirk, William Rappolt ’67, and Messick served as witnesses for DU, they were not allowed to stay for the full six hours of the hearing on the second floor of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.
According to The Student Handbook, DU has the right to appeal the Committee’s decision “on the grounds of improper procedure, new evidence, or undue severity of penalty.”
But an appeal is unlikely. “The undergraduate chapter is not going to sign the appeal form,” a former DU brother said. “We put it to a vote.”