The state Supreme Court refused to hear Psi Upsilon fraternity's appeal of a lower court decision that backed the University's sanctions against the fraternity. The decision all but kills Psi U's chance at getting its old center-campus house back unless the University agrees to allow the fraternity back on campus if they apply for re-recognition in the spring of 1993. "We just got [notified]," Associate General Counsel Frank Roth said yesterday of the denial. "This means their request for preliminary injunction [to stop the sanctions] is over." In April, a state Superior Court affirmed the University's right to punish Psi U with a host of sanctions, including revoking their charter and kicking the fraternity out of the Castle. The court also ruled that the University's punishment was fair. Psi U filed for an appeal of the decision, claiming that "the Superior Court erred by drawing numerous conclusions of fact which were unsupported by the record and the trial court opinion." The Supreme Court's one-sentence denial does not explain why it refused to hear the appeal. The ruling does not necessarily end the legal battle between Psi U and the University. There are still two counts in the suit against the University in Court of Common Pleas which could not be acted on until a decision was made on Psi U's appeal, according to Roth. The two counts demand money damages and a permanent injunction against the University for taking their property and damages for inflamatory statements the University made during its investigation which harmed the fraternity's reputation. Mark Williams, Psi U's international executive director said yesterday that he could not comment since the case was not from his office, rather conducted by alumni in Philadelphia. Psi U attorney John Ledwith did not return calls placed at his office yesterday. Last year, the administration found Psi U collectively responsible for the kidnapping and torturing of a member of another fraternity. Roth explained this summer that the fraternity had a right to appeal the case to the Superior Court, but the house had to ask permission for the state Supreme Court. For the state Supreme Court to accept the petition, Roth added last summer that the fraternity would have to raise a "particularly important issue, or a novel issue for litigation, [for which] no case law has been established." According to the fraternity's petition, the Supreme Court "has never addressed the issue regarding the standard for a fair disciplinary hearing at a university . . . [and] has never determined whether the concept of punishment pursuant to a theory of 'collective responsibility' is constitutional." Roth said yesterday that an important result of the case is that the Superior Court's ruling now becomes case law as precedent for future cases of a similar nature.Comments powered by Disqus
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