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Phi Kappa Psi honors frosh

(11/19/99 10:00am)

In an effort to recognize leadership qualities and academic achievement, members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity awarded three freshmen with a prestigious award last night at their second annual "Gentlemen, Leaders and Innovators" scholarship ceremony. In the banquet room of Moriarity's Restaurant and Bar at 1116 Walnut Street, 11 of the 12 finalists -- selected from an applicant pool of over 60 freshman males -- gathered with nearly 25 Phi Psi brothers for dinner and casual conversation. After opening remarks from Phi Psi President and incoming Interfraternity Council Vice President John Buchanan, a College junior, and scholarship co-coordinator Stuart Torch, a College sophomore, the three scholarship winners were announced. Wharton freshman Dario Kosarac won the $1,000 first prize, Engineering freshman Chris Ioannides garnered the $300 second prize and College freshman Justin Joseph received the $200 prize. "[The scholarship] is something our fraternity can do for a bigger Penn community," Buchanan said. "It's a way of recognizing talent in the freshman class and rewarding that." Kosarac said he was thrilled to win the award. "I'm really honored, especially since I met the other guys and saw how awesome they are," he said. Applications were sent out to all freshman males -- about 1,200 letters in all -- over the summer and about 60 students responded with a one-page essay on why they considered themselves gentlemen, leaders and innovators. After arriving at Penn, each applicant then went through a round of informal interviews with fraternity brothers and attended some casual social events, such as Monday night football gatherings. According to Phi Psi scholarship co-coordinator Greg Filosa, all of the candidates were very strong. "It was tough to make the decision," the College sophomore said. Kosarac wrote about his experiences as a peer leader, as a tutor with America Online and as the co-chairperson of his local American Red Cross Youth Corps, but what really set him apart from the other candidates was his unusual background. At the age of 15, Kosarac fled his home in war-torn Sarajevo for a host-home in Virginia Beach, Va., where he attended high school for four years and earned numerous accolades, including the Virginia 1999 Youth Award. "[For Kosarac] to achieve the same level as we did was just impressive," considering the obstacles he had to overcome, Filosa said. Ioannides wrote about his experiences as an Eagle Scout. And Joseph addressed the leadership and innovative skills of Mahatma Gandhi and Benjamin Franklin and identified himself with each of them. Ioannides said he enjoyed the application process as a whole because it helped him to meet upperclassmen early in the year and to get a feeling for the camaraderie within the fraternity. He added that it was an opportunity "to get to meet everybody where you're not being scrutinized by your every action."

Lambda Chi helps food bank

(11/16/99 10:00am)

Members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity took part in the seventh-annual North American Food Drive this weekend and raised approximately 6,250 pounds of food to donate to the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank, the primary provider of donated food for agencies that serve the needy in the Philadelphia area. The Penn chapter has participated in the North American Food Drive, an international fraternity philanthropy, for the last three years. On Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, 12 of the fraternity's 25 brothers went door-to-door through several of the college houses to ask for donations of canned food and change. Lambda Chi Alpha Vice President Matt Mongon, a Wharton junior, said he was impressed with students' generosity and willingness to help. "There were some people who dropped five to 10 bucks and all we were asking for was loose change," Mongon said. Every $1 is equivalent to nearly eight pounds of food and the members of the fraternity collected about 200 pounds of actual food. Mongon said the brothers' goal was to beat last year's total of approximately 6,500 pounds. He said he attributes this year's drop to scheduling problems, as the event was originally scheduled for October, but the date coincided with Family Weekend. Mongon added that there were $50 to $70 in corporate donations that the fraternity garnered last year and not this year. "But as far as door-to-door collection goes, we did better this year," Mongon said. Jason Pearce, director of communications at the national office of Lambda Chi Alpha, said the 190 participating chapters together have already exceeded the goal of two million pounds of food. And about 25 chapters have not yet reported their collections. Over the past six years, all of the chapters of the fraternity together have gathered 5.1 million pounds of food. "With [5.1 million pounds] we could feed all [180,000] living Lambda Chi Alpha members three meals per day for an entire week," Pearce said. "Or we could feed all the citizens of Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Atlanta and Richmond, Va., in one day." According to Pearce, the food drive began in the early 1980s at a local level within individual Lambda Chi Alpha chapters. "We've taken what many of our chapters were already doing and made a one-day event with a bigger impact," Pearce said.

Sig Ep awards scholarships to 'balanced' freshman students

(11/12/99 10:00am)

Recognizing a broad spectrum of leadership qualities in academic, community service and athletic programs, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity honored three male freshmen last night with a prestigious award. In the banquet hall of the Sheraton University City at 36th and Chestnut streets, 32 anxious freshmen men gathered for the eighth annual Balanced Man Scholarship Awards Banquet. After opening remarks from members of the fraternity, Wharton freshman Jerome Greco won the $1,000 first prize, Wharton freshman Travis Belden garnered the $600 second prize and College freshman Jeremy Duskin won the $250 prize, all for their leadership qualities in academic, community service and athletic programs both in high school and during their first semester at Penn. In addition to rewarding the "best of the best" of the freshmen class, the Balanced Man scholarship purports to "show [the freshmen] what the fraternity system is about" and let them "see the benefits of joining a fraternity," said Balanced Man scholarship co-chairperson Aaron Tidman, a College sophomore. The other 29 finalists were also recognized at the ceremony, where they received certificates for the award, which was funded by alumni donations. After multiple rounds of interviews, brothers of the fraternity selected the three from an applicant pool of 400 freshman males. Sig Ep President Erik Doebel, a Wharton senior, said the applicants were outstanding. "People who go to Penn are automatically going to have high GPAs and strong academic records," he said. "The scholarship recognizes someone who has the ability to go out and have fun, too? to be a social person who is confident and is not afraid to get involved in the activities that are important to him." Greco, who was on the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams in high school and is currently in the Navy ROTC, said he "felt great that [the fraternity members] had enough faith in [him] and [his] abilities" to select him as the top winner of the scholarship. But he also stressed that the interview process gave him the opportunity to acquaint himself with upperclassmen and the fraternity. "[The upperclassmen] got to show me the ropes and give me advice," Greco added, noting that the transition from high school to college often can be difficult socially. And Belden, who played varsity football and basketball in high school and is a member of the Penn varsity football team, said the application process "opened up a new pathway" to him. He now plans to rush Sig Ep in the spring. "There was a lot of talent in that room and to single me out among these guys was definitely an honor," he added. Duskin, a member of the freshman heavyweight crew team, also said the honor is two-fold in its benefits. "I just feel honored that they recognized me as a well-rounded person," he said. "Coming in and having the Sig Ep brothers treat me well has been a wonderful opportunity for me socially." The evening's guest speakers included assistant Penn football coach Dan "Lake" Staffieri, former Sig Ep Alumni Board President and 1965 graduate Conrad Eberstein and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell. Members of Sig Ep recognized Eberstein for receiving this summer the Order of the Golden Heart Award, the highest award that can be bestowed on an alumnus for his service to the fraternity and the community.

Alpha Chi Rho brother elected new IFC president

(11/10/99 10:00am)

Eight officers were chosen by Penn's 31 fraternities for the IFC's 2000 executive board. The University's 31 fraternities elected a new InterFraternity Council executive board last night led by Alpha Chi Rho Brother Andrew Mandelbaum as its president. The election marks the end of IFC President Mark Metzl's term during a year rife with controversy over several major incidents that altered the University's alcohol policy. Mandelbaum, a College junior who was the IFC's vice president for academics this semester, said, "I look forward to working with the other members of the board? in redefining our goals for the next five years." Phi Kappa Psi brother and College junior John Buchanan was elected executive vice president, replacing Sigma Nu brother Andrew Exum, a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist. According to Buchanan, the outgoing board has prepared the new members well for the upcoming year. "I think that the board that is moving out of office has set us up well to continue their work," Buchanan said. "There's a long transition period so that we can step into their positions with guidance." Other newly elected members to the board include Phi Kappa Sigma brother and Engineering junior Mark Valenti, who was named vice president for rush; Vice President for Academics Rob Lewin, an Alpha Epsilon Pi brother and Wharton junior; Delta Kappa Epsilon brother and College sophomore Mark Zimring as vice president for communications; Kappa Sigma brother Sam Holliday, an Engineering junior, as treasurer; Secretary Jared Hendricks, a Sigma Alpha Mu brother and Wharton sophomore; and Pi Kappa Phi brother Ben Yarbrough, a College junior, as judicial inquiry representative. Each of the five candidates for president gave a five-minute speech, which preceded a two-minute question-and-answer session. Two speeches by non-board members were made for each candidate. The names of the losing presidential candidates were not disclosed. All other candidates had three minutes to speak and two minutes to answer questions. Each fraternity was allowed one vote per position at the elections, which were closed to the public. A total of 16 fraternity members ran for the eight positions on the board. Metzl said this was the largest number of candidates in recent years. "I was very pleased with the results of the election," Metzl said. The newly elected IFC board, which will take office after winter vacation, will be responsible for rewriting the IFC's document of goals. The 21st Century Plan -- a 1996 plan that focuses on the issues of academics, faculty interaction, community service, the rush program, new member education and social enrichment and risk management -- expires in 2000.

St. Elmo's celebrates 150 years

(11/09/99 10:00am)

Members of the coed St. Elmo's fraternity, also known as Delta Phi, have prided themselves in their heritage for decades. But the fraternity saw tradition at its best this weekend when current members and alumni, spanning more than 40 years, gathered to celebrate the chapter's 150th anniversary. The oldest fraternity on campus, St. Elmo's kicked off the weekend's festivities with a black-tie affair at Fairmount Boathouse Friday night. The more than 100 alumni who attended the event reconvened for brunch Saturday morning at the St. Elmo's house at 3627 Locust Walk, where those in attendance reminisced about times spent in the only coed fraternity officially recognized by the University's Greek system. St. Elmo's President Ann Gallagher, a College senior, said, "150 is just a number, but the idea to have something to celebrate and to make such a milestone is just great." St. Elmo's Vice President Kyle Moran said that while alumni return to the house every Homecoming, it has been years since such a large gathering has taken place. "We have people coming back to the house who haven't even been back to the campus in decades," the College junior said. "It's neat that an event of this magnitude pulls them back." Bill Carey, a 1953 Wharton graduate who was president of St. Elmo's in 1952, said the alumni always have maintained their ties to the fraternity. "There was a strong Philadelphia-area alumni group that entertained us in their homes," added Carey, who chairs the St. Elmo's Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support for students in the fraternity. Representatives from the 20-member board meet about three times a year with current members to discuss undergraduate issues and assess the state of the house. A four-month long renovation project on the house was recently completed. "[St. Elmo's] has reached an auspicious threshold? and it was time to spruce up the house, which was built as a replacement house 40 years ago," said Graduate Board President Lisa Armstrong, a 1982 College and Wharton graduate. The house was previously located where Van Pelt Library now stands. Many alumni agreed that St. Elmo's has not only amassed a great deal of tradition but a number of firsts as well. As the first and only fraternity on campus to include women as official members, St. Elmo's will celebrate in 2001 its 20th anniversary as a coed organization. "[Including women in the fraternity] was a controversial issue for an organization that had a lot of tradition and experience behind it," Armstrong said. "It's much more in line with our world today, in which men and women live and work together." And according to 1981 St. Elmo's President Renny Ponvert, because a strength of the University is its "diversity and breadth," it made sense to include women in the fraternity officially. "It's a more mature environment," said Ponvert, a 1982 College graduate. "Men and women are equal in intellect and ability."

TEP award honors beloved houseman

(11/08/99 10:00am)

Brothers and alumni of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity gathered Saturday afternoon for the second-annual presentation of the Alzie Jackson scholarship, named after the fraternity's late housemate and beloved friend of 40 years. TEP brother and College junior Ari Johnson, Jackson's grandson, received the scholarship for the second year in a row. In an emotional ceremony, the brothers and alumni remembered Jackson's contributions to the fraternity, with one alumnus calling the houseman "an accomplished chef, a bouncer, bartender, protector, sounding board and surrogate father." Too choked up to comment during the ceremony, Johnson later relayed his feelings on the award and his grandfather. "They could have given the scholarship to anyone," he said. "It is a way for the house to show its appreciation for the service that my grandfather gave." When Jackson died in February 1997 at the age of 69, TEP brothers from the classes of 1968 through 1999 decided to endow a scholarship in his name. In under a year, they raised $100,000. The endowment currently stands at $170,000. TEP brothers past and present aim to increase the amount to $500,000 by June 2002. Scholarship fund chairperson and 1969 Penn graduate Steve Lerman, who served as TEP president from 1968 to 1969, described Jackson as a fatherly figure and a wise man. "When you showed up here at the house at the beginning of the year, [Jackson would] go to all the mothers and tell them that they had nothing to worry about," Lerman said. Johnson will receive the scholarship again next year, after which point University officials will select the recipient annually. According to Lerman, the winner will be a student in financial need who displays a dedication to community service, has a diversity of interests, has overcome adversity and shows academic achievement. "I hope that student tries to live up to the traits that my grandfather had and understands the important role that he played in the house as a mentor," Johnson said. TEP President Jon Cabin, a College junior, said that no words could sufficiently explain the impact that Jackson had on the fraternity and its members. "A lot of [his] values have incredible ties to what we stand for as a fraternity," he said. Cabin added that Johnson was a perfect recipient of the award. "I couldn't think of anyone much better than [Ari] to get the award," Cabin added. "Ari personifies all those values -- honesty, kindness -- that Alzie had." The fraternity recognized Jackson in 1989 as an official TEP brother -- giving him the designated name and number Rho 1000 -- for his contributions to the Rho chapter. When away from the TEP house, Jackson shared his skill in hat-making with students at Moore College of Art, where he was referred to as a "national treasure." Jackson began his career as a hat designer at the age of 16 in Harlem, N.Y., where he sold hats for $2 a piece. Known as "Mr. Alzie," Jackson was later profiled in Ebony and USA Today. Jackson also spent summers working with underprivileged children at Camp Sussex in New Jersey. Leslie Johnson -- Ari's father and Jackson's son -- said the scholarship is meaningful to the family "emotionally, spiritually and financially." "It was part of my father's legacy.? It was one of his dreams that one of [his three children] would go to Penn," he said. "We're happy to see that Ari got to go."

Panhel holds run to benefit breast cancer research

(11/01/99 10:00am)

At the Panhellenic Council's first annual 5k Pumpkin Chase run yesterday, more than 200 members of the University community ran through campus to raise over $3,500 for breast cancer research and awareness. University President Judith Rodin announced the start of the race, which began and ended at Harnwell College House, and in a brief speech complimented Panhel for its charity work. "I'm just proud of Panhel and delighted at the turnout," Rodin said. In accordance with Halloween traditions, almost no one went home from the race empty-handed. Panhel awarded medals to the top 169 finishers. The top male and female runner in each of three categories according to age and the participants with the best costumes won prizes. Wharton junior and Alpha Kappa Delta Phi member Tracey Rohrer, the top female finisher in the 17 to 22 age group with a time of 21 minutes and 41 seconds, said, "I just enjoy running -- that's the reason I came out." "I thought it was for a good cause and a good time for everyone to get together," Rohrer added. Seventy-five percent of the money raised will benefit Race for the Cure, which provides care for underprivileged breast cancer victims in the area. "People don't realize that [breast cancer] is becoming a young persons' disease.? We really need to find a cure, and we're coming that much closer," Debbie Goodman, co-chairperson of Race for the Cure Philadelphia, said. The remaining 25 percent will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, one of the largest international organizations raising money to heighten awareness and research of the disease that will affect nearly 1.8 million women in the world by the end of the century. Panhel President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister, said the event raised more money than Panhel had anticipated. "We are all very excited to be making such a sizeable donation," Iverson said. According to Director of Recreation Mike Diorka, who helped to plan the race and also organizes the annual Locust Walk Mile, Panhel intends to make the Pumpkin Chase an annual event. "It's been a lot of fun and a good experience for the students," Diorka said. "It's a great thing that kids got up early on Halloween? it would have been great if more came in costume." Panhel has, in recent years, placed a focus on women's health issues, holding a number of workshops ranging from nutrition to eating disorders. Associate Vice Provost for University Life Terry Conn -- who has worked with Panhel and the Trustees Council of Penn Women to promote women's health issues -- agreed that the students' involvement was impressive. "It was a great turnout for the first year, and we will be looking forward to even more [participants] next year," Conn said.

Liquor agents bust SDT party

(10/26/99 9:00am)

The Liquor Control Enforcement bureau of the Pennsylvania State Police unexpectedly dropped by and shut down an off-campus Sigma Delta Tau sorority party last Thursday night at the New Market Cabaret at 415 S. 2nd Street, citing numerous underage students in the process. The party -- which was registered to be held from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and was open only to students 21 years of age and older -- was forced to end at around midnight. Stephanie Ives, the University's alcohol coordinator, said she does not know why the LCE entered and broke up the party. "It is an LCE matter," Ives said. "The LCE does not work in conjunction with the University at all." And Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Director Scott Reikofski reaffirmed that SDT fully complied with the University's alcohol policy, since the sorority registered the party and completed a third-party vendor checklist -- a list of rules governing off-campus social events. Panhellenic Council President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister, said that SDT provided at least one sober member to serve as a monitor for every 50 guests, as directed by the alcohol policy. "As far as Panhellenic is concerned, SDT completed all the steps necessary to comply with University alcohol regulations," she added. An underage male student who attended the party last Thursday said the state police handed out several citations to anyone under the age of 21, though the student did not know exactly how many. Following the raid, the doors were locked and those under 21 were forced to stay as the police confiscated fake IDs. "The cops were just doing their job, really," the student said. "A lot of people were giving the cops a hard time. Most of the people at the party were not legitimately 21." Reikofski said he was sure the University did not inform the LCE of the downtown party. "Our investigation further revealed that no one at the University tipped off the LCE. The University Police Department is the primary contact with the LCE and they were unaware that the SDT party was even going on," Reikofski added, noting that the issue is now closed. "What [the LCE] evidently did find was underage students who were improperly and illegally served by the licensed establishment that had signed off on and hosted the party," Reikofski said. The manager of the club, Phil Roy, did not return several calls for comment over the past two days. SDT President Amanda Wallen, a College senior, said that approximately 90 sorority members -- most with dates -- attended the party, and that 10 monitors were present. "I wish I knew why [the LCE broke up the party]," Wallen said.

Frat advisor's assaulters guilty

(10/25/99 9:00am)

An Irish jury last week found two men guilty in the brutal gay-bashing assault of Philadelphia author and Penn Sigma Nu Alumni Advisor Robert Drake in Ireland last January, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday. The Irish Circuit Court jury of seven men and four women found Ian Monaghan, 20, and Glen Mahon, 21, both of Sligo, Ireland, guilty of "recklessly causing serious harm." The defendants claimed Drake had made a pass at one of the men and that the other then struck Drake in the face to make him stop. Drake, 36, had been living in Sligo to research a novel when he was assaulted inside his apartment, where he was found lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood more than 12 hours later. Scott Pretorious, Drake's partner of six years and the chief radiology resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said, "Robert's friends and I are very pleased that these men have been convicted of this heinous crime, but we need to remember that Robert is permanently brain damaged." "Ask yourself who is better off: innocent Robert or the perpetrators?" Pretorious added. After spending nearly two months in the intensive care unit of Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, Drake returned to Philadelphia late last March and was eventually admitted to a rehabilitation hospital, where he underwent five months of therapy to learn to walk and use speech again. He was released from the hospital two weeks ago but his mobility and speech remain gravely impaired. InterFraternity Council Executive Vice President and Sigma Nu brother Andrew Exum, a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist, said, "[The verdict] obviously pleases us but our No. 1 concern is with Robert's recovery." Last year, members of Sigma Nu sold about 1,000 buttons bearing the name "Robert" to raise over $3,000 for the Robert Drake Fund to help cover flight and treatment expenses for the man who had dedicated hundreds of hours to the fraternity. Sigma Nu President Erik Franks, a Wharton junior, said the charges cannot be harsh enough, considering Drake's permanently impaired condition. "They pretty much left [Drake] for dead," Franks said. Sentencing has been adjourned until January 10 and Monaghan and Mahon are free on bail until then. The maximum sentence for each is 10 years in prison.

Greeks, admin. discuss goals

(10/14/99 9:00am)

In an attempt to ensure that future boards continue working toward the InterFraternity Council's stated goals, IFC leaders met Tuesday with administrators and faculty members at the Phi Delta Theta house on Locust Walk. The group discussed the IFC's progress since last November -- when the current executive board was elected into office -- in meeting the goals of the Greek Active Partnership, the IFC's version of the Greek-wide 21st Century Report. The report -- devised by the IFC, the Panhellenic Council and the BiCultural InterGreek Council in 1996 -- focuses on the issues of academics, faculty interaction, community service, the rush program, new member education and social enrichment and risk management. According to IFC President Mark Metzl, a College senior and Tau Epsilon Phi brother, most of the goals of the plan have been achieved but some areas of concern remain, including academic support and faculty interaction. "We are making attempts to develop initiatives that further the academic mission of the University," Metzl said. For example, the IFC has raised the minimum GPA for brothers to 2.15 and has created the position of academics chairperson for each IFC fraternity. They will meet with the IFC vice president of academics monthly for roundtable discussions. The IFC is also working to provide Greek tutors for fraternity members and to sponsor two or three workshops for new brothers on time management, exam preparation and learning. Working to enhance faculty interaction with the Greek system, the IFC is also creating a Greek Faculty Advisory Board to meet with chapter leaders regularly to discuss individual and system-wide academic concerns. "We shared some very promising ideas for increasing student-faculty interaction, including strengthened collaboration with the college house system," Deputy Provost Peter Conn said. "[The] IFC is also working to formalize a faculty advisory committee." According to IFC Executive Vice President Andrew Exum, a College senior and Sigma Nu brother, the IFC will also look into sharing some resources -- such as the Information Technology Advisor program -- with the college houses, but he noted that the IFC is in the very preliminary stages of investigating such options. In addition to meeting the goals of GAP, the IFC is also looking to create a new set of long-term objectives. "One thing we're going to be working toward, now that we've accomplished most of the goals of the 21st Century Plan, is? how we can continue the spirit of the 21st Century Plan into the next five years or so," said Exum, who is also a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist. Other initiatives include an Annual Greek Favorite Faculty Award and frequent student-faculty teas. Also, the Greek system has established the 2000 for 2000 campaign -- a joint project with Civic House to complete 2,000 hours of community service by the year 2000 -- as the focus of its community service initiative. Exum added that all fraternities have shown a willingness to comply with the University's new alcohol policy. Provost Robert Barchi, who attended the meeting, agreed with Exum, noting that both he and University President Judith Rodin were impressed by the commitment of the Greeks and other student leaders to implement the alcohol policy. "Last spring I spent many hours with the members of the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse, which included a number of Greek leaders," Barchi added. "I was impressed then, and I am impressed now, by the level of leadership, accountability and responsibility the Greeks have taken." Metzl thanked Barchi for attending, noting that "lines of communication between the provost's office and the IFC have been very strong." And according to Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Director Scott Reikofski, "[The meeting] was really wonderful, as we've never had the provost or assistant provost there in person to talk to [the IFC]." "That is a testament to the dedication that the upper administration has for the fraternity system," Reikofski added. The group expects to meet again sometime in the spring semester but Reikofski emphasized that there will be constant interaction with the University over the course of the year.

Penn's Statement Street

(10/13/99 9:00am)

At the heart of campus, Locust Walk has long been the focus of attempts to define and reflect Penn's very nature, a process that continues to this day. and Eric Tucker For years, it has been the primary thoroughfare of the campus, a central pathway shared by students, administrators and faculty alike. Among students, fraternities have long populated Locust Walk housing. Whether the brothers are eating lunch together on outdoor benches or hosting public barbecues, relaxing on couches in front of their houses or actively publicizing Friday night parties, Locust Walk fraternities have always been in the public spotlight, a part of the literal and figurative "heart" of campus. But if fraternities on Locust Walk have been important to the campus socially, then they have been equally important politically. For the past decade, the question of what belongs on Locust Walk has been at best an issue for debate and at worst a source of heated controversy. Now, as the University engages in a virtual game of give-and-take with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and more student groups, campus organizations and academic centers wait in line to take their places on the Walk, administrators are again faced with the decision of how best to utilize Locust Walk facilities. Over the past 30 years, the majority of fraternity houses that once ran up and down the Walk have been relocated. In 1967, there were 14 fraternity houses lining the main stretch of the Walk. Today, by contrast, there are six, excluding the three houses on the far western end, past the 38th Street footbridge. A long stretch of the 3600 block of Locust Walk -- from the Palladium to the plaza entrance to the Annenberg School for Communication -- is now entirely non-residential. Years ago, most of those facilities were Greek. No one can know for sure how many fraternities, sororities and academic buildings will occupy Locust Walk in the near future, but the possibility still exists that Locust Walk may look as different 20 years from now as it did 20 years ago. Fraternity Row With fraternity houses lining both sides of the street as recently as the mid-1970s, the Locust Walk of yesteryear was not quite the intricate mixture of student residences and administrative facilities that it is today. It was instead a prototypical fraternity row, a stomping ground for Greeks. Many fraternities that current students identify as having off-campus houses -- including Alpha Epsilon Pi, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Phi Kappa Psi -- were all once located on Locust Walk. Many current administrative buildings, in turn, were once fraternities. The Penn Women's Center at 3643 Locust, for instance, fills the void left by Theta Xi. DU's old house at 3537 Locust now houses the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance, as well as the Management and Technology Program. The DTD house at 3533 Locust is now the E. Craig Sweeten Alumni Center. Last year, the Walk welcomed back two of its longest-standing tenants -- Psi Upsilon and Phi Kappa Sigma -- who were both thrown off campus for disciplinary violations earlier in the decade. But since then, the University has converted the former Phi Sigma Kappa house at 3615 Locust Walk into the Veranda, a temporary student center. And just this summer, Penn administrators announced short-term plans to bring School of Arts and Sciences programs to the former Phi Gamma Delta house at 3619 Locust. Eventually, and maybe even soon, permanent decisions will be made on the future of those properties. 'Roof rating' Bret Kinsella knows a thing or two about fraternity life on Locust Walk. As the InterFraternity Council President in 1990, Kinsella -- a Kappa Sigma brother and an adamant supporter of Greek presence on the Walk -- found himself becoming the primary liaison between the Greek community and the administration during a time when women and minorities claimed they were being harassed by fraternity brothers on the Walk. Indeed, Penn Women's Center Director Elena DiLapi, who arrived at Penn 15 years ago, said the presence of numerous fraternities on the Walk brought what she calls an "overt kind of harassment" into the middle of campus. "In years past, fraternity members would sit in front of their houses or on their roofs, literally rating women with signs from one to 10," DiLapi said. She said "very clearly documented" incidents made it clear that sexual harassment did indeed occur inside Locust Walk fraternity houses years ago. Many incidents, she said, have never been made public. Anthropology Professor Peggy Sanday, author of Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege On Campus -- a book chronicling an alleged gang rape inside a Penn fraternity house in 1983 -- has similar memories of a time when the Walk was a controversial area of campus. "A lot of female students were telling me they always avoided the Walk to come to the [University] Museum and always took Spruce Street," Sunday said. Today, having been away from the University for nearly 10 years, Kinsella said he believes fraternities as a whole earned an undeservedly bad reputation for the actions of just a few members. "I remember hearing those things but I don't remember witnessing them," Kinsella said. It was, as he remembers it, only a "vocal minority" of students who opposed the presence of fraternities on Locust Walk and began contacting administrators and writing columns in The Daily Pennsylvanian, marking the beginning of what would be one of the more contentious debates in recent Penn history. White male fraternities It was precisely this notion of Locust Walk as "Frat Row" that students and administrators sought to dispel in the mid-1980s. Amid concerns that a significant presence of fraternities on the Walk created an environment in which women felt objectified and minorities felt excluded, administrators and students engaged in a campus-wide debate focusing on the physical makeup of the Walk. It was April 1990 when then-University President Sheldon Hackney assembled a committee of administrators and students to discuss ways in which the University could diversify Locust Walk. "This was a time when everyone had fairly sharp public postures on questions," said Hackney, now a professor in the History Department. The committee stopped just short of recommending the removal of fraternities from the Walk. Instead, it suggested that Locust Walk be occupied by a more diverse representation of the student body. Hackney accepted the committee's report in September 1991. But the Committee to Diversify Locust Walk was only one in a series of several comprehensive inquiries into the quality of campus life, most of which centered on Locust Walk and none of which had positive things to say about the presence of fraternities there. Two other committees looking at on-campus violence, harassment and discrimination in 1987 -- one headed by then-College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ivar Berg and the other chaired by History Professor Drew Faust -- both suggested that fraternities on the Walk had negative effects on student life at the University. The reports criticized the fraternities for making the center of campus a site of frequent racial exclusivity and sexual harassment. "What we found was that there was kind of a symbolic statement having the central artery of campus occupied by the Wharton School and white male fraternities," Faust said. "The current arrangement of the campus, with white male fraternities lining its central artery? is more appropriate to Penn of the 1950s than to what Penn hopes to be in the 1990s," the Faust report concluded. Similarly, Berg, a Sociology professor, said fraternities lacked the "academic justification" that would warrant their presence on the Walk, considered a coveted part of campus. The discussion brought with it one of the more memorable protests in recent history. On April 18, 1990, more than 400 fraternity members marched to Hackney's house to protest his proposal to increase diversity on Locust Walk. And the committee itself was rife with conflict, as several members nearly resigned from the group at Hackney's insistence that fraternities not be relocated. According to Faust, whose own committee recommended the relocation of the 11 Locust Walk fraternities, the Hackney-appointed committee never seriously considered removing all of the fraternities. "[The goal established by Hackney was] finding spaces to diversify Locust Walk, not purify it of fraternities," Faust explained. But Kinsella said he still believes that finding ways to remove fraternities from the Walk was more of a priority -- and even a desire -- than administrators are willing to admit. "The fact was that there were structures [other than fraternity houses] that could have been converted into student houses," Kinsella said. "A group of people had very clear political agendas that were very clearly anti-fraternity." When the Hackney-charged committee released its report in September 1991, it did not explicitly recommend the removal of any of the fraternities from Locust Walk. In fact, four committee members chose not to sign the report because they felt the committee had not gone far enough in seeking diversification. "The fraternities perpetuate a social standard and a mode of behavior which is deplorable and which distresses me? greatly," Adelaide Delluva, a professor in the Biochemistry Department, wrote in a letter of dissent. Berg, who was in Phi Delta Theta at Colgate University in the 1940s, stressed that most members of the committee were not at all opposed to fraternities. He said it is only when they misbehaved that their presence on the Walk became an issue. Disciplinary action against fraternity members, Berg added, was particularly difficult when some of the students guilty of misconduct had prominent parents who could take action against the University. "[What] we felt in giving our report was that these were social organizations in the middle of an academic environment, but they were also subject to a system of law and order that was shot through with hazards," Berg said. A different animal Whatever harassment or sexism might have occurred inside fraternity houses at one point -- and, according to DiLapi, might still exist today -- current Greek leaders say severe examples of misconduct are mostly a thing of the past. "The fraternity system of the '80s was a different animal than that which exists today," IFC President and College senior Mark Metzl said. The Tau Epsilon Phi brother added that fraternities' various contributions to campus merit their presence on the Walk. And OFSA Director Scott Reikofski agreed that having social life on Locust Walk creates a safe environment for the University. "I think that having residential fraternities on Locust Walk provides? an important 24-hour presence and life in the middle of campus," Reikofski said. In addition, several administrators say they support maintaining fraternities on the Walk along with other types of programs. Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, for one, said she believes that today's Locust Walk is "more welcoming now to all groups" than it had been before. University administrators have repeatedly insisted that they intend to preserve a Greek presence on the Walk and will do what they can to make sure that the heart of campus does not turn off its lights and go home at the end of the work day. "There certainly is no long-term plan to uproot fraternities on Locust Walk," University President Judith Rodin said recently. Provost Robert Barchi, whose first months in office saw the FIJI brothers forfeit their house, said his plan for a diversified Locust Walk absolutely makes room for fraternities. "We are really looking for diversity on Locust Walk. I believe we have diversity on Locust Walk right now," Barchi said, adding that fraternity houses placed next to administrative buildings makes the "core of campus a more active and vibrant place." Some students, however, don't necessarily believe the claims of the administrators. Former FIJI President Martin Park, a Wharton senior, said he sees fraternities "being cracked down on a lot" -- so much so that they might not be around too much longer. And there are some, like DiLapi and Berg, who believe that fraternities should definitely still exist -- though not on the Walk. "It would be nice if some fraternities reconsidered their 'need' to be in the middle of campus," DiLapi said. Added Berg: "There's no reason why that space couldn't be used for more extracurricular activities, with the emphasis on 'curricular.'" A curricular emphasis was brought about with the Community Service Living-Learning Program, a group of 25 students who lived in the Castle for most of the 1990s until Psi U returned to the house in 1998 after an eight-year eviction stemming from the 1990 kidnapping of a rival fraternity brother. College senior Hillary Chernow, who lived in the Castle in the 1997-98 academic year as part of CSLLP, said she remembers her former home as a "magical" place that served a positive purpose on Locust Walk. Chernow said that Psi U getting its house back is an indication that "alumni money must have meant more to the University than this important program being in the center of the University." If a Greek presence does indeed remain in the heart of campus, then the issue also becomes whether sororities will again occupy a place on Locust Walk house. Delta Delta Delta is the only sorority to ever live on the Walk when the chapter leased the Phi Kap house in 1994. Tri Delt left the house when the brothers returned last fall. "I'd like to see sorority houses on the Walk. They represent one third of the [female] population," said Panhellenic Council President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister. "It's an honor to live on the Walk." Reikofski explained that the fraternity system is much older than the sorority system and therefore achieving what he called a "good gender balance" on the Walk is more difficult than just erecting more houses there. Barchi said he would support the "introduction of a sorority on the Walk" but he said that there are "no specific plans or proposals before us." Faust suggested that the widespread construction on campus might place the emphasis on areas other than Locust Walk. "I would expect Locust Walk to become less the focus of everyone's concern," Faust said. These days, "a lot of people are walking up and down Walnut Street."

Greek Week ends with annual 'Meet the Greeks' gathering

(10/11/99 9:00am)

Approximately 126 women signed up for the Panhellenic Council's winter rush as members of the University's fraternities and sororities lined both sides of Locust Walk Friday afternoon at the annual "Meet the Greeks" gathering. The event, along with Thursday's movie screening and Friday night's all-Greek mixer in Moravian Court, capped off Greek Week, a week-long series of events designed to celebrate Greek life on campus. "There were lots of freshmen out finding out about the Greek system and there was a lot of interaction between the houses, which was fun to see," said Panhel President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister. Most freshmen who checked out the tables said they enjoyed meeting the Greek representatives. College freshman Ben Miles, who will participate in rush this winter, said he enjoyed approaching the members of various fraternities to talk about rush policies. "I felt comfortable going up to the fraternity tables," Miles said. Registration for IFC rush will begin next week. Later that night, the all-Greek mixer took in a smaller showing than usual, according to IFC President Mark Metzl, who attributed the low attendance to Friday night's cold weather. "But there was good attendance at the respective alcohol-serving establishments [Mad 4 Mex and the New Deck Tavern]," the College senior and Tau Epsilon Phi brother said. The cool temperatures did not seem to keep students away from the screening of Dead Poets Society on College Green Thursday night, however. According to Metzl, more than 200 came and went over the course of the two-hour showing. While "Meet the Greeks," the mixer and the movie screening are traditional Greek Week events, this year's celebration saw a few new activities, including a student-faculty tea, which was held early in the week. Provost Robert Barchi, who attended the tea, said such casual interactions between students and faculty "open up another dimension of our community of scholars that is often unappreciated in the bustle of the lecture hall." Other events included a coffee house at the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house Wednesday and the Clark Park Festival last Saturday. The coffee house -- which kicked off the Greeks' 2000 for 2000 campaign to complete 2,000 hours of community service by the year 2000 -- attracted more than 300 students. The approximately $400 raised is being donated to Philadelphians Concerned About Housing, a local organization that provides housing and social services to low-income, single-parent families in the area. And members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority went Saturday to the shelter on 61st Street to begin a long-term project to refurbish the facility.

Greek Week coffee house puts emphasis on service

(10/07/99 9:00am)

Members of the Greek community kicked off their 2000 for 2000 campaign -- an initiative to complete 2,000 hours of community service by the year 2000 -- with a coffee house last night at the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Locust Walk. The event was part of Greek Week, a week-long series of events designed to celebrate Greek life on campus and co-sponsored by the InterFraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Bicultural InterGreek Council and the Undergraduate Assembly. The mock coffee house -- which attracted over 300 students, Greeks and non-Greeks alike -- offered coffee donated by Bucks County Coffee and entertainment provided by the Penn performing arts groups Off the Beat, Counterparts, Pennsylvania 6-5000, the Virgin House Jazz Band and Arts House Dance. Tickets to attend the event cost $3 without a mug and $2 for students who brought their own mugs. Proceeds will be given to Philadelphians Concerned About Housing, a local organization that provides housing and social services to low-income single-parent families in the area. According to Panhel President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister, the primary goal of the event was to draw attention to the 2000 for 2000 Campaign. Other Greek Week activities this week have included the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" festival in Clark Park and a faculty tea Monday at the Veranda. According to IFC President Mark Metzl, all of the activities target academic, community service and social initiatives. "All students say they would like to hang out with their professors outside the classroom and the professors say the same thing," said Metzl, a College senior and Tau Epsilon Phi brother. "This was one of the few efforts made for student-faculty interaction outside the classroom." Deputy Provost and English Professor Peter Conn, who attended the event, said he enjoyed getting the opportunity to have "some good discussion" with several of the students in attendance. Director of College Houses and Academic Services David Brownlee said student-faculty teas seemed to be more common when he began teaching at Penn in 1980. "[The tea] is a natural idea," Brownlee said. "The nice thing about it is that it's a very simple, very effective way of breaking the University down into small, knowable pieces." The Greeks extended the festivities to the West Philadelphia community on Saturday at the Clark Park festival at 43rd Street and Chester Avenue. Greek Week will continue through Friday, culminating that evening with an all-Greek mixer in the Moravian Court. That afternoon, students will be able to "Meet the Greeks" on Locust Walk, an event designed to target those interesting in spring rush. The event was postponed from Tuesday due to inclement weather. And tonight there will be a screening of Dead Poets Society on College Green. The UA announced Sunday that it will contribute $2,715 toward the event.

SAM fraternity starts over with new executive board

(09/30/99 9:00am)

Tainted by rush violations, the frat's members hope to reclaim its good name. After being placed on administrative hold by the University and temporary suspension by its national office last spring for violating dry rush and anti-hazing policies, members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity met with its national organization last week to reorganize for the upcoming year. The national office mandated over the summer that the 40 junior and senior members of the fraternity be placed on "special alumni status," which forbids their participation in the organization of the chapter. New SAM President Jared Hendricks, a College sophomore, would not say whether the harsh decision was the result of the behavior of the chapter's members last January at a New Jersey bowling alley, where they allegedly brought five kegs of beer and stole hundreds of pieces of equipment. But according to SAM "special alumnus" Eric Spielman, a College senior, the national office called the meeting in order to discuss last semester's rush events -- including the bowling alley incident. Sigma Alpha Mu International Executive Director Aaron Girson did not return repeated phone calls this week. Hendricks maintained that the national organization decided to meet with the chapter to discuss organizational issues dealing with both group and personal responsibilities. Girson met with each of SAM's 21 current active members and some alumni both individually and as a group. "The goals that the national had were for us to reorganize? and to make sure we got off this year on the right foot," Hendricks said. He added that Girson met with the members "to help [us] build on the foundations of brotherhood that our chapter stands for as well as help the community and get involved in University life as a chapter." The chapter elected four new members -- all sophomores -- to its executive council last week, replacing the junior and senior executive board members who are no longer brothers of the fraternity. SAM "special alumnus" Jared Weinstock, a College senior, said, "The house is fine -- we're not on probation and we're not under any scrutiny at the moment." Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Director Scott Reikofski said he was unable to comment. Hendricks said he does not expect the recent changes to the fraternity's infrastructure to affect the rush process in January, noting that the new SAM will still participate in fall showcasing events. InterFraternity Council President Mark Metzl said the fraternity's fewer members should not affect its performance during rush. "I think SAM's reorganization has revitalized and redirected the fraternity. Rushes will realize how dedicated and strong the SAM brotherhood has become," the College senior and Tau Epsilon Phi brother said. Pointing out the chapter's recent efforts at rebuilding, Hendricks pointed to its philanthropy campaign, which included 15 members' participation last Sunday in the 5K "Walk to Cure Diabetes" -- sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation -- held at Fairmont Park in Philadelphia. The fraternity solicited donations from its alumni and members of the University community, raising $1,028 for diabetes research and making the house eligible for a Juvenile Diabetes Achievement Award. Hendricks said the chapter will also hold a pizza-eating contest with other campus organizations, including Greek houses, in late October to raise money for the United Nations Children's Fund. "We're creating a better, more sound organization that will hopefully create change on the campus through philanthropy," Hendricks said.

All U.-owned Greek houses to be wired by fall of 2000

(09/28/99 9:00am)

All 23 of the University-owned fraternity and sorority houses should be wired to GreekNet -- a voice, data and telephone system -- by September 2000, officials said this week. In the spring of 1998, the University completed the first phase of the installation process -- which brought two common area connections to the houses to give them access to the Penntrex phone system, video network and an Ethernet-based Internet connection. The second phase, which has been underway for the last 14 months, entails connecting GreekNet to all rooms in the houses. As of now, 14 fraternity and sorority houses have been fully wired and activated. "We are very optimistic that we will be able to have all 23 houses fully wired by September 2000," John Smolen, the executive director for facilities, technology and information services in the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life, said. "We will be working with the remaining nine University houses as well as the six privately owned chapter houses in the months ahead to attain this goal." The first phase of the project -- which cost $1.4 million -- was partially funded through a $350,000 University loan, given in October 1996, which the Greek system will pay back over time. The houses themselves covered the remainder of the costs. Expenses for the second phase vary depending on the condition of the houses, Smolen said. Some houses already have natural pathways, making wiring inexpensive. Other houses need electrical upgrades before the wiring process takes place. InterFraternity Council President Mark Metzl, a College senior and Tau Epsilon Phi brother, said the IFC and Panhellenic Council are in the initial stages of implementing a system of technical support for Greek houses. "We're trying to figure out if we want [information technology advisor] support for just those houses with GreekNet or if we want to expand the support to all Greek members, both on and off campus," Metzl said. ITAs who live in the University's 12 college houses currently help on-campus residents with computer-related issues, but no program is in place for residents of Greek houses. Panhel President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister, said the current plan is to have a pool of ITAs -- some of whom are Greek -- who will be called to the houses to help with any GreekNet problems. Iverson added, however, that the plan still awaits Panhel and IFC approval. While most of the GreekNet installation work has been done during the summer months, residents of chapter houses hope that the work continues over the academic year, Smolen said. "Another consideration is inconvenience for residents of a house by having workers in the house do the project," he said. "To date, the houses that have been completed while students are in residence have been very successful.? Contractors and students alike have praised each other's cooperation in getting the job done." An early version of GreekNet started in 1993 when the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house at 3906 Spruce Street was renovated. The pathways and wiring were done in preparation for GreekNet. Since then all major renovation projects -- including the Sigma Delta Tau sorority and the Delta Tau Delta and Zeta Psi fraternities -- have included GreekNet bedroom pathways. "If this summer was any indication of our commitment to the project, I am confident that we will reach our goal of wiring all University-owned houses with GreekNet by the end of the year 2000," Metzl said. Other houses that currently have GreekNet are the Alpha Chi Omega and Chi Omega sororities and the Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Alpha Society, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Epsilon Phi and Zeta Beta Tau fraternities. Work on the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house is in progress and is expected to be complete this semester, Smolen said.

Two Panhel sororities start fall rush process

(09/23/99 9:00am)

Approximately 20 interested women signed up yesterday as the Phi Sigma Sigma and Pi Beta Phi sororities initiated the Panhellenic Council's first-ever fall rush period. While Phi Sig Sig, which has about 90 sisters, and Pi Phi -- which has about 70 -- are the only two of Panhel's eight sororities participating, the fall rush is open to all non-freshmen women. Panhel Vice President for Rush Cara Schmid, a College senior and Alpha Phi sister, said three sororities -- Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega and Sigma Delta Tau -- already meet the 115-member quota. The other three -- Chi Omega, Alpha Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta -- are close to full capacity and have decided not to participate in fall rush. "[Fall rush] is a great opportunity for upperclassmen to join the system," Schmid said. "It's been really successful at other schools and it's a way for us to strengthen our system before the spring rush." Panhel sent notices about fall rush to all non-Greek upperclass women earlier this week and both of the participating sororities set up tables yesterday in the Veranda at 3615 Locust Walk, where interested women met current members and gathered information about the organizations. According to Panhel President Becca Iverson, a College senior and Chi Omega sister, the fall pledge period will last approximately six weeks instead of the typical 12 and initiation will take place before the end of the semester. The sororities will distribute bids on September 30, the last day of rush. Unlike Panhel's formal spring rush process, which is characterized by numerous strict guidelines, the continuous open bidding process is organized individually by the rush chair of each sorority. And interested women may rush more than one house. Each sorority will hold three informal rush events -- which include television nights, dinners, coffee gatherings and trivia nights -- at its house. Phi Sig Sig and Pi Phi have scheduled their events for different nights so that prospective pledges can rush both sororities. Pi Phi Social Chairperson Gina LaPlaca, a College junior, said "We like the relaxed atmosphere of fall rush and we want upperclassmen to get to know us and look at sorority life in a more casual atmosphere." And Pi Phi member and College junior Erin Murphy added, "Spring rush is very rushed -- girls are in and out of the house very quickly. Here they actually get to sit back with no time restrictions." Pi Phi has accepted women to its sorority in the fall in previous years. And Phi Sig Sig has issued a couple bids in the fall in past years but has never had an organized continuous open bidding process, according to Phi Sig Sig Rush Chairperson Jamie Cohen, a College senior. "Hopefully, the less pressured, more informal environment will give the rushees and sisters a chance to get to know each other much better," Cohen said. "We feel it would be a good deal for us and for any upperclassmen and transfer students interested." Christine Richmond, a College junior who just transferred to Penn from the University of Calgary, said she plans to rush both Phi Sig Sig and Pi Phi. "At my old university, we didn't have sororities," Richmond said. "I think it's a great way to meet new people and get involved in the University."

Phi Sig faces uphill battle to get back former house

(09/21/99 9:00am)

Though Phi Sigma Kappa won back IFC recognition, Penn officials say the frat will likely not get back its old house. Despite its return to campus after a 17-month suspension, it seems extremely unlikely that the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity will reacquire its former Locust Walk home. The Veranda, a student center, has occupied the property at 3615 Locust Walk for the past year and officials say they have no plans to move the facility to make room for Phi Sig, to which the InterFraternity Council restored recognition last week. "My understanding is that, under no circumstances, will any proposal to regain the property be approved by the University either now or at any time in the future," Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum said. And though Provost Robert Barchi said an official decision has not yet been made regarding the future of the house, he maintained that "when Phi Sigma Kappa lost its charter in the spring of 1998, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, as well as the Vice Provost for University Life, made it clear to both the national [office] and to our Penn students that they would not be returning to the building." "This decision reflected the condition in which the building was returned to the University by the chapter at that time," he added in reference to the University-owned building. Still, Phi Sig President Michael Germano said the brothers are creating a proposal detailing why the chapter should be entitled to the house and recommending ways to improve the building's condition. "There is a lot of tradition in the house," the Wharton junior said. "In the long term, it will be beneficial for us to have a house." He added that Phi Sig is working to expand brotherhood events within the chapter, heighten members' understanding of Penn's Greek system and develop stronger ties with alumni. "Our ultimate goal is to regain our house," Germano said, noting that the Phi Sig members will work closely with alumni to develop their proposal, which they said they intend to submit soon after re-chartering. "It's our house -- our letters are still on it," Germano said. Phi Sig member Adrian Jones, a Wharton sophomore, said it was reasonable for OFSA and VPUL to say in the spring of 1998 that Phi Sig would not regain its house. "But times have changed," Jones added. "We think that once [the University officials] see it's not the old Phi Sig, they might be willing to reconsider." Phi Sig's primary aim is to regain a charter from its national organization by the chapter's 100th anniversary next spring, Germano said. In order to receive a charter, the fraternity must meet several criteria, including a high academic standing, community service initiatives and recognition from the IFC.

First IFC parties comply with U.'s alcohol policy

(09/20/99 9:00am)

Monitors checked ID at the door and the parties were both BYOB. The InterFraternity Council's first two officially registered parties of the semester occurred without incident and upheld the University's new alcohol policy, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Director Scott Reikofski said. The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity held its party at its house at 235 S. 39th Street on Friday from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity mixed with the Delta Delta Delta sorority on Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight at the DKE house at 307 S. 39th Street. Reikofski said he hopes the alcohol policy -- which includes a ban on hard liquor at registered undergraduate events, a stipulation that alcohol distribution be allowed only on a BYOB basis and end at 1 a.m. as well as a stricter monitoring system -- will continue to be supported at future events this year. "I hope [the parties' success] is an indication the students are going to be taking care of each other and abiding by the policies that they helped to create," Reikofski said. ZBT President Jonathan Marcus said the large number of people at the party made the event difficult to watch over. According to Marcus, the house -- which periodically stopped admitting guests throughout the night due to overflow -- was filled to capacity. To encourage a non-alcoholic atmosphere, the fraternity set up a table offering varieties of soda. A Daily Pennsylvanian staff writer who attended the ZBT party reported that monitors checked the identification of all guests and that the fraternity stopped serving alcohol at 1 a.m. Stephanie Ives, the University's new alcohol coordinator, and Larry Moses, program director for the Bicultural InterGreek Council, attended the ZBT party with two trained monitors who checked for identification. Those over 21 were given a stamp on their hand to designate legal status. Ives was unavailable for comment and Moses refused to comment for this article. Students in attendance at the ZBT function said they were surprised to see the alcohol policy taking effect so quickly. "I was amazed that there was no open distribution of beer, and security was really tight," said Wharton sophomore Sugata Ray. DKE President Kevin Heck, a College senior, said the alcohol policy was also enforced at his fraternity's much smaller party with Tri-Delt. "Mixers are very different from large-scale parties? they're a lot easier to control," Heck said. The University sent two monitors to the event, which attracted approximately 65 members of DKE and Tri-Delt. The monitors -- who stopped in and out throughout the night -- were present at the event for a total of 45 minutes. "They did the same job as the OFSA monitors but were here longer," Heck noted. Tri-Delt President Nicole Melchiorre, a College senior, added that "it wasn't hard for us to uphold the policies -- most of them were in effect before." Melchiorre added that she thought the monitors had a greater presence than in the past. "But I don't think that it hindered our having fun in any way," she said.

Alcohol policy to face first test at 2 frat parties

(09/17/99 9:00am)

Both ZBT and DKE say they intend to enforce Penn's new rules. Two fraternities will put the new alcohol policy to the test this weekend, kicking off the first officially registered InterFraternity Council parties of the year. The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity will hold a party tonight at its fraternity house at 235 S. 39th Street from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., while the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity will mix with the Delta Delta Delta sorority tomorrow night from 10 p.m. to midnight. Both ZBT President Jonathan Marcus, a College senior, and DKE President Kevin Heck, also a College senior, said their fraternities intend to uphold the University's alcohol policy 100 percent at their parties. The new policy prohibits the presence of hard liquor at registered undergraduate events and the distribution and consumption of alcohol -- which is allowed only on a BYOB basis -- after 1 a.m. Marcus said ZBT has held three general house meetings since the start of classes -- the number typically held over a period of one month -- where the brothers carefully reviewed the alcohol regulations. "There was a general concern for what the actual rules were," Marcus said. "Instead of just distributing literature, we went through a checklist and stressed the importance of complying with the rules." And according to Heck, guests 21 and older at his party will be limited to a six-pack of beer or a four-pack of wine coolers per person. Heck said he does not foresee any problems, noting that "[all Greek houses] are very responsible for taking care of their brothers and sisters." Both fraternities said they will follow another stipulation of the new policy which enforces a monitoring system at all undergraduate registered events. Stephanie Ives, the University's new alcohol coordinator, said the monitors -- trained graduate and professional students and faculty members -- will collaborate with student organizers to enforce the policy's regulations. "The students pushed for this system," Ives said. "They wanted to have a system with monitors acting with them." The University's approximately 50 monitors -- who each underwent three hours of training with Training for Intervention Procedures, a national alcohol education program -- will work alongside trained bartenders and the event's mandatory sober host. "The IFC has fully embraced the policy," Ives said. "I have faith in what the IFC has said and respect their decision to uphold their decision." The IFC created a Greek Alcohol Management Policy in 1995 which mandated the need for alcohol monitors. The only difference between GAMP and the new policy, with regard to monitors, is that GAMP required the use of monitors who were volunteer alumni from the fraternity. That policy was not always enforced. And now, the trained monitors will report to Ives rather than the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. The University's alcohol policy was revised last April by a task force headed by Provost Robert Barchi and composed of 21 students, faculty and administrators, following a string of alcohol-related incidents on campus, including the death of 1994 College graduate Michael Tobin outside the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house after a night of heavy drinking.

IFC applies U. policy to all houses

(09/16/99 9:00am)

The InterFraternity Council voted to extend the new alcohol policy to houses not owned by Penn. The members of the InterFraternity Council unanimously agreed Tuesday night to apply the University's new alcohol policy to the approximately eight or nine recognized fraternity houses not owned or managed by the University. Until now, the policy had applied only to University-owned facilities, though Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Scott Reikofski said many of the chapters had been making strides to host safer parties even before the policy was revamped. "The IFC resolution not only assures fraternity support and cooperation in the institution's efforts, but also finishes creating an even playing field for all fraternities, which did not necessarily exist before due to variations between national policies," Reikofski said. The extended support for the alcohol policy will not bring with it a dramatic change to fraternity parties held at non-University owned houses, according to IFC Executive Vice President Andrew Exum, a College senior and Daily Pennsylvanian columnist. The change will technically render obsolete the Greek Alcohol Management Policy -- a plan created in 1995 prohibiting fraternities from purchasing alcohol for consumption during social events. Since GAMP applied only to fraternities, the new alcohol policy will overshadow it by applying to the University as a whole. While GAMP allowed cocktail parties in fraternity houses, the new alcohol policy prohibits hard alcohol at any undergraduate registered event. Also under the new policy, alcohol service and availability must cease at 1 a.m. In addition, GAMP relied on the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to monitor parties, but the new policy depends on monitors trained by Stephanie Ives -- the University's new alcohol coordinator -- to regulate Greek social events. "There's not too much of a change in rules for fraternity parties," Exum added. "The difference lies in the way that we monitor and regulate parties." InterFraternity Council President Mark Metzl said this marks the first time since passage of the 21st Century Plan in 1996 -- a project outlining initiatives in areas such as academics, community service, technology, security and community partnership -- that the IFC has passed a proactive measure to increase safety and reduce risk in chapter houses. The University's alcohol policy was revised last April by a committee headed by Provost Robert Barchi and composed of 21 students, faculty members and administrators, following a string of alcohol-related incidents on campus, including the death of 1994 College graduate Michael Tobin outside the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house.