University officials and Community Service Living/Learning Program coordinators said yesterday they are "delighted" with the recent decision by a state Supreme Court not to hear an appeal by the Psi Upsilon fraternity. Psi U had asked the court to force the University to halt its sanctions against the fraternity, including taking over the house -- currently inhabited by community service-oriented students -- and revoking the fraternity's charter. "I'm very pleased with the decision not to hear the case," Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said yesterday. The General Counsel's Office announced Wednesday that it was notified by the state Supreme Court of the opinion. But Lisa Barnes, director of the Castle program, said she did not think residents were concerned about the appeal. "I don't think that it came to people's minds," Barnes said. "We were created independent of them." Castle Residential Advisor Joe Gaeta said he is thankful the University has supported the program regardless of the outcome of the ongoing legal battle. "I am confident that the University supports us all along," the College senior said. "At least for the amount of time we will be here, the University has been behind us." 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 punishment was fair. Psi U filed 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 claims against the University pending in Common Pleas Court. These could not be heard until a decision was made on Psi U's appeal, according to Associate General Counsel Frank Roth. In these claims, the fraternity is seeking damages and a permanent injunction against the University for taking its property and for inflamatory statements the University made during its investigation, which the fraternity says harmed its reputation. It is not known when or if Psi U will act on these counts, and fraternity lawyer John Ledwith did not return calls seeking comment yesterday. Roth said earlier this week 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. "I think we got some very good case law from the superior court," VPUL Morrisson said yesterday. "It upholds the University's right to discipline fraternities under its governance policy."Comments powered by Disqus
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