Even if the administration were willing to remove fraternities from Locust Walk, the process would involve complex and unique legal maneuvers with each of the chapters, one of the University's lawyers said yesterday. Currently, the University owns seven of the ten Greek houses in the center of campus. But Associate General Counsel Steven Ponskanzer said yesterday the administration does not have free rein with any of the properties, even ones that it legally owns. When the fraternities turned over the houses to the University years ago, they each set legal stipulations that strictly define and limit the University's power over them. These stipulations could keep the University from removing them, even if President Sheldon Hackney supported the effort. "I have a book an inch-and-a-half thick detailing the ownership of fraternities," Ponskanzer said. "I have reams and reams of pages controlling the relationships." "The one thing that is safe to say is that there are no easy answers in terms of who controls and who uses houses," he added. Ponskanzer, who has been involved with the six-month legal battle with Psi Upsilon alumni, said the Castle had one of the simplest agreements on Locust Walk. Each agreement contains a different set of clauses detailing how the property can be used, but some were written in the 1920s and 1930s when neither the University nor alumni considered wholesale renovations of the Locust Walk corridor. Some agreements are more clearly written than others, Ponskanzer said, but some describe stipulations in several pages of highly-defined text. He said other relationships have also been based over the years on non-written precedents set by previous University-chapter dealings. Deputy Vice Provost George Koval said yesterday the University has worked to standardize these agreements for the past decade. Koval said the University works to revise the contracts when performing renovations. The seven chapters' houses owned by the University are Phi Delta Theta, Kappa Sigma, Phi Sigma Kappa, Theta Xi, Phi Gamma Delta, Delta Phi (St. Elmo's), and Psi Upsilon (the Castle). The three houses not owned by the University are Delta Psi (St. A's), Phi Kappa Sigma, and Alpha Chi Rho. Phi Sig president Chad Markle said last night he does not worry about his chapter's agreement with the University because his local alumni organization provides him with a complete legal appraisal during negotiations with the University. Markle added that while he is concerned about the debate over removing fraternities from the Walk, he does not think the University has sweeping legal power to remove his chapter. "Ultimately, I know that the wheels of the University turn very slowly," Markle said.Comments powered by Disqus
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