President Sheldon Hackney said last month that he will not use the Castle in any way that would prevent the expelled Psi Upsilon fraternity from reclaiming the house. "No use will be made of the Psi Upsilon house during the next three years that would preclude the return of Psi Upsilon to the Castle when and if the fraternity requalifies itself for recognition under the recognition policy," Hackney stated in the letter. Assistant to the President Nicholas Constan said yesterday that Hackney made the statement to protect the University during upcoming court proceedings, in which the fraternity -- known as the Castle -- will try to reverse the University's sanctions. "We don't want to look in public like we have a better idea of what to do with the house than the Pennsylvania court system," Constan said. But Associate General Counsel Neil Hamburg said yesterday there is no legal reason not to make permanent plans for the centrally located house. He reiterated the University's stance that the University Trustees control the house. Psi Upsilon alumni maintain that they own the building, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, and that in the fraternity's absence, the house can only be used for residential purposes. Faculty Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips, who last week threatened to resign from the Walk committee because Hackney said it could not consider relocating Walk fraternities, said yesterday the president's attitude towards the Castle further impairs the committee's usefulness. "It's a policy statement made by the president that was not referred to the committee for its consideration," Phillips said. "It seems to me that if we have a Locust Walk committee to consider the uses of Locust Walk, matters considering the usage of Locust Walk should be referred to the committee." But Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson, a committee co-chairperson, said the statement will have no effect on the workings of the committee. She said it expresses the same stance the president has held all semester. "He has always said that we would not make any long term permanent commitment," Morrisson said. "We're not ruling out any possibility for the future." Morrisson and Constan said they do not think the president's statement assumes the fraternity will be rerecognized if it applies. Hackney said early this semester that the Castle house would be filled by January, but Morrisson said in October that it is not likely to be occupied next semester. Several groups are jockeying for a spot in the vacant facility, and the building has entered into debate over efforts to diversify the Walk's residential population. The president has received staunch criticism throughout the semester for his refusal to move fraternities from the Walk, most recently from the influential Faculty Senate. The Castle has filed suit against the University, trying to get back on campus before 1993. The vice provost for University Life punished the chapter in spring for planning and executing the January kidnapping of a Delta Psi fraternity brother. The members were kicked out of their house, and the fraternity lost its recognition for at least three years.Comments powered by Disqus
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