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IFC electers new board

(11/14/90 10:00am)

Next year's Interfraternity Council officers, elected at a three-hour meeting last night, said they hope to improve communication both within the IFC and between the Greek community and the University as a whole. Members voted College junior Jim Rettew as the IFC president. Rettew said last night that he is excited about having a "fresh group" of new officers to take charge of the board in January. "This was not a superficial election," said Rettew, who is currently IFC secretary and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity vice president. "The rest of the candidates in the election went in to do something about how Greeks interact with the campus." Rettew said the IFC will also discuss improvements to the new "bring your own" alcohol policy, and the controversy surrounding Greek houses on Locust Walk. Rettew is the only returning member on next year's executive board, which will take office in January. College junior Mike Lingle, a Phi Delta Theta fraternity member, was elected executive vice president. Wharton sophomore and Tau Epsilon Phi member Bruce Forman was elected vice president for rush. College sophomore and Zeta Beta Tau member Steve Rice was elected secretary, and College junior and Delta Kappa Epsilon member Whitney Strotz, a last-minute addition to the ballot, was voted treasurer. Lingle, Phi Delt's IFC representative and house steward, first appeared on the ballot as a candidate for vice president for rush. During last-minute election changes he was nominated for president, but decided to run for executive vice president after losing to Rettew. Lingle said the new group of board members is "pretty solid," adding that he hopes to foster more communication between the executive board and rest of the IFC. During the election meeting, candidates waited together outside the meeting room, pacing nervously and conversing with their opponents while one candidate addressed the others in the room. Engineering sophomore and Deke member Doug Rosenberg was elected pledge ombudsman by receiving the most votes in the election for member-at-large of the executive board. Others elected as members-at-large were Wharton sophomore and Kappa Sigma member Andre Harris, College sophomore and Beta Theta Pi member Harlan Levy, College sophomore and SAE member Kyle Sindelar, and Wharton sophomore and ZBT member Stuart Elkowitz.

Sororities' security concerns rising

(11/13/90 10:00am)

This fall's crime wave has intensified sorority members' already mounting concerns about the safety of chapter houses, located on two of the most dangerous areas around campus. Members say their security concerns are similar to those of all off-campus dwellers, but they notice more quickly the problems of living off-campus because all seven sorority houses are off campus. They add that they are more equipped to mobilize than other students because they already have a structure within which to work. Sisters have attempted to address safety problems through security forums during Panhellenic Council and individual chapter meetings, and by cautioning each other on safe practices when traveling at night. But sisters said last week that such measures are long-term solutions, and in the meantime members must remain on guard. Several members said they never walk alone at night anymore and a few said they do not even feel safe in a group, forcing them to take Escort Service whenever they need to be out at night. Several members living in the houses said they feel threatened even inside their houses. During the night, they said, strangers have climbed their fire escapes, looted their trash and slept on their front doorsteps. "We don't know what to do anymore," Panhel President Anita Hsueh said. Phi Sigma Sigma, located on the 4000 block of Walnut, has put bars on its first-story windows, and like most chapter houses, has multiple bolts on all its doors. Few members of Delta Delta Delta, on the 4000 block of Spruce, will park their cars in the lot behind the house. On the high-crime block, Tri-Delt officers provide information for members who want to buy mace. Tri-Delt President Laura Lazarus said that the University owes sororities a secure environment since they do not have an area as safe as Locust Walk. "If they are not going to put us on campus, it's their duty to protect us where we are," Lazarus said. Hsueh said last week that sorority members have discussed several measures which would improve security such as increasing foot patrols and moving sorority houses together so that they were all in the same area. She added that sorority presidents voiced security concerns during their annual meeting with President Sheldon Hackney two weeks ago. Members said their sisters are vulnerable when they walk off campus for their weekly meetings. Between 700 and 900 sorority members attend nighttime chapter house meetings once a week. "Tuesday nights make me very nervous," Sigma Delta Tau President Suzanne Weiss said last week. "We will have about 100 girls walking toward our house." Many sorority members said that they encourage other members to walk in groups or to take Escort Service. But one member said walking in groups may not be safe. "Even when people walk in large groups, they can still be mugged," Tri-Delt Chaplain Farina Talbert said yesterday. And some sorority officers said that security concerns is a financial burden as well, because members hesitate to move into the houses on the fringes of campus. "We have problems filling our house," Phi Sig Sig President Jennifer Jones said Sunday. "Parents are concerned about security. We're on one of the worst blocks."

Rushes put their name on the dotted line

(11/13/90 10:00am)

Over 400 freshmen and sophomore men packed a Logan Hall auditorium for nearly an hour last night to make their formal commitment to an Interfraternity Council fraternity. Rushes signed bid cards to accept or reject offers to become members of an IFC fraternity. Bid signing culminated the five weeks of the IFC rush period, where houses try to recruit students they feel will fit into their fraternity. The rushes, most of whom will begin pledging as early as tonight, climbed over chairs and crowded around IFC executive board members to receive their bids. But before they lined up, they sat restlessly on the edge of their seats of the lecture hall chatting with their friends with most paying only partial attention to the reflective remarks by IFC officers and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Assistant Director Eric Newman. Newman cautioned the prospective brothers that once they became members of a fraternity, their actions as individuals would reflect on their house, citing the Psi Upsilon kidnapping as a situation where an entire chapter suffered for the actions of "a few people." IFC Vice President for Rush David Hecht congratulated all those who received bids and said that they were fortunate to be involved with the University fraternity system. "You're coming into an era where fraternities dominate every aspect of this campus," Hecht said. He added that being offered a bid to a fraternity meant that the fraternity trusted them with fate of the chapter. "They've given you their future," Hecht said. "You become the future of the fraternity you bid." Most students signing bids said last night that their choice was easy, but a few said they agonized up to the time they signed their bids on which house they would choose. "I liked all the people I met," College sophomore Ken Liu said. "It was a difficult decision. I made up my mind an hour [before bid-signing]." And while many people said they were excited to begin "non-hazing" pledging, at least one pledge said he wasn't looking forward to it. "I'd rather just become a brother, but I guess you can't," College freshman Brian Levin said.

Ownership not final word in frat debate

(11/09/90 10:00am)

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.

Penn Watch may step up patrols, start them earlier

(11/08/90 10:00am)

They said they want to add a patrol on Locust Walk that would provide walking escorts for students, even to sites off campus. A UA member also said he would lobby landlords to provide more lighting in off-campus areas. The students formulated their plan after discussing the program Tuesday with Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Assistant Director Eric Newman. Currently, Penn Watch volunteers patrol Spruce, Walnut and Locust streets in groups of four, but they do not cover Sansom Street past 39th Street or Baltimore Street past 40th Street. Students patrolling Spruce Street last night said they feel safe on the street now, but would be afraid to go on the expanded patrols if they entered areas that are more dangerous. UA Security Committee chairperson Andrew Tsai said that while most students he has recruited this semester to patrol campus are "gung-ho," several have asked him about their personal safety. "Some [recruits] do have some hesitation and anxiety," Tsai said. "That's why we stress training programs. . . We try to minimize the risk and see that students are best prepared." UA Vice Chairman Mike Feinberg said students should patrol new routes in groups so that Penn Watch can be effective while not jeapordizing any of its volunteers. "I would hope there would be five to six people on those routes," Feinberg said. "That's a must. When you think about it, you want Penn Watch routes to walk the most dangerous routes. . . .but you need the manpower so that the Penn Watch people are safe." Organizers hope to train up to 200 new patrollers by the end of the semester, but said the new security measures will be limited if students do not volunteer. The new routes are not planned to begin until next semester, although several organizers said they wanted to implement the changes sooner. They said they have not had time to schedule a training session with University Police officials, who must teach students about Penn Watch procedures. While expansion has been a priority since the beginning of the semester, Penn Watch founder Chris McLaughlin said Tuesday the recent outbreak of violent crime has underscored the need. "[Expanding Penn Watch] is not in direct response because we were planning it all along, but now there's more urgency," said McLaughlin, a Wharton senior. Penn Watch currently patrols between 12:30 a.m. an 2:30 a.m. "Instinctively, we think students stop studying around 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.," UA member Tsai said. "We might move it earlier." Tsai recruited 31 Student Activities Council groups to provide volunteers for Penn Watch during a SAC meeting last Sunday, and UA members are recruiting patrollers. UA Chairperson Duchess Harris said yesterday that students from all segments of the University have shown interest patrolling for Penn Watch. "Its seems like there's such a wide cross-section of people who want to get involved -- so many women and so many people of color." Harris said.

Letter which threatened floor with $2000 bill said to be hoax

(11/07/90 10:00am)

Students fearing that they would have to pay $2000 to repair vandals' damage to their floor said they were relieved yesterday when they were told the letter threatening the charge was a hoax. The letter, attributed to Resident Advisor Evan Berman, was circulated on the 23rd floor of High Rise East Monday night. Berman and Head Resident Mark Jackson said neither they nor West Campus had anything to do with the letter and do not know who drafted it. "Because it wasn't written on West Campus letterhead, it was clear it wasn't a West Campus letter," Jackson said last night. The letter said the residents would have to foot the bill for clean-up and labor costs if the guilty party did not come forward. Last Sunday morning, vandals sprayed fire-retardant dust from four floor fire extinguishers, covering the halls' floors, walls and ceiling and clogging smoke detectors. Physical Plant workers were called in over the next two days to scrub all hallway surfaces and clear the smoke detectors. Residential Maintenance Director Lynn Horner said Monday that clean-up costs could run between $800 and $1000. Jackson and Berman said last night that 23rd floor residents would probably not be required to pay for the cleaning costs. Jackson said he went around to all of the 23rd floor rooms last night in order to clear up the mix-up. Jackson said there are no suspects, adding that investigation is continuing. Berman said last night that he thinks a student on the floor wrote the letter. College Junior Ann Gallaher, a floor resident, said last night that she and her roommate were upset when they received the letter because they didn't think they should be forced to pay for damages because they do not think a floor resident is responsible. "We were mad because we didn't think it would be right if we were charged," Gallaher said. "We don't live on a community floor. There's no reason for them to charge us."

Residents may have to pay for vandalism

(11/06/90 10:00am)

Residents of a floor which vandals sprayed with fire-retardant dust this weekend may be ordered to pay approximately $2000 for damages and clean-up if the culprits are not found. The vandals covered the floors, walls and ceilings of the 23rd floor of High Rise East with dust from four hall fire extinguishers early Sunday morning. They caused damage which a Residential Maintenance official estimated at between $800 and $1000. College senior Evan Berman, the floor's resident advisor, informed students on the floor in a letter that they might be told they have to foot the bill for the damages and labor costs for cleaning if no suspects are found. Residents said yesterday that they awoke around 4:00 a.m. Sunday to a yellow haze as firefighters beat nightsticks against their doors. Several said they thought the building was on fire. Both residents and Residential Living officials said they did not know who vandalized the floor. The residue of yellow dust not only coated the hallways but entered the rooms through a crack underneath the door both immediately after the incident and later that morning as Physical Plant workers cleared the dust, residents said. "When they cleaned up the next morning, the stuff came zooming under the crack," College junior Ann Gallaher said. "I put towels in the door." Several students said they mopped, dusted and vacuumed their suites, and two students had to throw away their towels and toothbrushes. Residents said Sunday was not the first time their floor was sprayed by fire extinguisher dust. They said a similar but less severe incident occurred earlier in the week, but they did not report it to Residential Living. The debris also entered the floors' smoke detectors, rendering them useless until they are cleaned, Residential Maintenance Director Lynn Horner said yesterday. While the detectors are out of service, University Police will monitor the floor to make sure no fires occur, Horner said.

Mix-up could leave students without vote

(11/06/90 10:00am)

Several students who filled out state voter registration forms at CUPID this fall have discovered that they were never registered to vote in today's elections, the result of an apparent mix-up in the mailing of registration forms. It could not be determined whether the mix-up affected one batch or all of the CUPID voter registration forms. At least eight students who completed registration forms at CUPID said yesterday that they were never notified by the state that their application had been received. Four of them had called Voter Registration and discovered that they are not on voter rolls. Voters who were officially registered were sent confirmation notices by mail. Maccolier and Reserve Officer Training Corps instructors, who organized CUPID voter registration this year, gave different explanations yesterday of how the registrations were mailed. Maccolier said that ROTC workers mailed the registrations. But Master Sergeant Don Ruff said that he put them in a box each evening for CUPID workers to pick up and mail. He said yesterday that one day, he and Master Sergeant Steve Nord saw a CUPID worker carry the registrations away. Maccolier said later that although he did not remember CUPID workers mailing voter registrations, it is possible that they did. Bob Lee, an election finance document specialist, said that Pennsylvania law mandates that voters must be mailed confirmation of receipt of their application within 48 hours of its arrival at the Voter Registration office. Generally, a registration would only be rejected if it does not contain date of birth, party affiliation, address or signature. "I knew I was supposed to get something, but I figured it was the Quad mail situation," Engineering sophomore Benjamin Mourad said last night. Mourad has not received a confirmation, but has not telephoned to see if he is registered. Maccolier said yesterday that he regrets that registrations were lost in the mail and that he had written a letter for one student who was not listed on the voter roles explaining that the voter did try to register.

Greek judicial board is in place

(11/05/90 10:00am)

After 18 months of planning, fraternities and sororities have implemented a judicial system in which members of all three Greek umbrella organizations rule on alleged violations of their own policies. The Greek Peer Judicial Board, which heard its first case a few weeks ago, handles all alleged collective responsibility violations of policies of the three umbrella groups -- the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and the Black Inter-Greek Council -- where no University code governs the charges. Fraternity and sorority members said they established the board so that the administration will respect the organizations' ability to enforce their own rules. "If we can own the process, we can do it," BIG-C President Kathryn Williams said. "[The GPJB] allows us to set our own standards and that in itself gives us an incentive to live up to those things." And while the University has not yet ratified the charter for the new system, Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said the GPJB will help create more accountability within the Greek system. Presently, the board hears possible violations of all umbrella organizations' rush guidelines and possible violations of the IFC's recently-implemented "bring your own bottle" alcohol policy. Members of the new judicial system and other fraternity and sorority members said last month they hope the GPJB will gain enough respect from the administration that it will eventually be able to hear minor violations of University policy, such as poster policy violations. "The best thing it's going to do is that it will give some legitimacy to some regulations such as dry rush and BYOB," said Wharton senior Chris McLaughlin, the system's prosecutor. "The eventual goal is to receive more respect from the [Judicial Inquiry Officer.]" But Morrisson said the new system needs to strengthen enforcement of IFC, BIG-C and Panhel policies rather than rule on infractions of University-wide policy. "It would be fair to say the goal would be to take on greater responsibility for those kinds of policies that are adopted by the organizations themselves rather than University-wide policies," Morrisson said. The current GPJB charter breaks the board into two sections -- the judicial board, composed of five students, and the prosecution group, which gathers information about charges and presents the information in hearings. The five board representatives will include one standing representative each from the IFC, the BIG-C and Panhel. Two additional members, who will also hear cases and rule on decisions, will represent the umbrella organization of the chapter facing charges. Chapters being charged are allowed to bring in an adviser. In order for the GPJB to reach a verdict, four out of five members must be in agreement. Before charges come before the board, the prosecutor and the director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will attempt to setttle the charges, Panhel representative Lisa Spivak said. Prosecutor McLaughlin said that he hopes the GPJB will be more expedient than current University judicial boards. Although the current GPJB charter was approved by all three umbrella organizations nearly a year ago, the board did not heard cases until this semester. Last spring, fraternity and sorority members met with the Office of University Life and University attorneys to receive their suggestions for improvements to the system. The document must first be approved by the General Counsel's Office and then by Morrisson if it is to be a recognized part of the University judicial system -- which would allow the system to hear future cases involving University policy. If the charter is approved by Morrisson, it will be taken back to the three umbrella groups to be re-ratified. Associate General Counsel Steven Poskanzer said this week that the charter is still being revised but should be approved "in the very near future." Poskanzer said there have been changes in the charter consisting mostly of tightening the language of the document. McLaughlin said the changes have made the document much stronger. And VPUL Morrisson said that the revision of the policies has served to create a "clear and workable" document. "The only drawbacks ]in the charter] are procedural," Morrisson said. Morrisson also said that the revisions will help define clearly what cases the GPJB deals with and what cases other University judicial boards, such as the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Board, handle.

Exam: A test of mice and men

(10/30/90 10:00am)

Meyerson Hall B-1 was as quiet as a mouse yesterday morning. Quiet, that is, until one scurried across the room. During the first 20 minutes of a History 164 midterm, the only stirring was the scribbling of over 400 pens until a row of pensive students spotted the furry rodent scampering underneath their seats. Screams and laughter filled the air for the rest of the 55-minute Recent American History exam. Some students picked their feet up off the ground and others moved their bags and jackets in hopes of escaping the furry creature. History 164 Professor Bruce Kuklick, who missed the mousecapade, said he found the incident funny. A teaching assistant told him about it immediately after the exam. This was not Kuklick's first brush with four-legged exam visitors. A squirrel crawled into College Hall 200 during an exam he was giving a few years ago. Kuklick said he does not believe that the "rodent trauma" affected exam results and that the incident provided an opportunity for stress relief. And Teaching Assistant Allison Isenberg, who spotted the mouse twice as she proctored the exam, said no one was seriously shaken up by the incident. "No one really freaked out," Isenberg said. "It seemed like everyone figured it out." But at least one student said reaction to the mouse caused him to lose his concentration. "People [in the vicinity of the mouse] should've had more time to finish," College junior Jon Shiff said yesterday. While Kuklick said the mouse incident was humorous, he was quick to add that there was a serious problem with the exam setting -- he said many seats in Meyerson B-1 are broken and unusable. "I am sorry this happened," Kuklick said. "It was funny and you can't prevent it from happening, but you can prevent having a building in bad shape."

Hackney calls for JIO probe of 'Pig Penn'

(10/11/90 9:00am)

During yesterday's University Council meeting, Hackney charged Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman with investigating the 45-minute show, aired October 2, during which the hosts split a bottle of tequila, discussed oral sex in explicit detail and showed pictures of nude men and women. The president requested that Goodman pay particular attention to the portion of the show where hosts identified first-year women by their name and face from the Freshman Record and put one woman's voice on the air without her knowledge or consent. Hackney said that he shared the University community's "deep revulsion" at the show's contents. "I really feel for the two women involved," Hackney said. "When [the hosts] were engaged in what they thought were fun and games, they may have affected the lives of other people." The hosts and producers -- Wharton senior Vincent Fumo and College senior Richard Rothstein -- called two women, reaching one on the air. They put the student's voice on the air, commented on her appearance and asked if she would agree to go on a date with one of them. UTV's executive committee fired Rothstein and Fumo and canceled Pig Penn the day after the show premiered. Hackney commended UTV officials for their "swift" action, saying after the meeting that the station management "moved in a very responsible way." Rothstein said last night he was sorry if the show offended anyone, adding that the hosts did not mean to harass the women. But he said he did not understand the furor over the show. "Would it be construed as harassment if a woman called me on a show and said that my picture was attractive and if I were so in real life?" Rothstein said. "I very much doubt it . . . I don't think that it's making people feel vulnerable by telling them they look attactive in their face book picture." Fumo could not be reached for comment last night. Fumo, son of Pennyslvania state senator Vincent Fumo, changed his phone number within the past week. JIO Goodman said yesterday that she will begin her investigation this morning by viewing the show and by talking with Station Manager Dianne Rekstad for more information. "Depending on what I find in the tape I will go forward with the investigation," Goodman said last night. But it is unclear how Goodman will obtain a copy of Pig Penn because few copies exist. Rothstein said last night that he does not have a copy of the show. UTV officials could not be reached for comment last night and it is not certain whether UTV owns a station copy. Hackney said yesterday that he asked JIO Goodman to investigate the show after reading partial transcripts of the show and a guest column, both of which ran on the editorial pages of The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Sorority rush to stay in spring

(10/11/90 9:00am)

The Panhellenic Association last night voted against moving formal sorority rush from the spring to the fall. The resolution to move rush, discussed at Panhel's bi-weekly meeting, failed to earn the approval of six of the eight houses -- the three-quarters majority that is required to change rush procedure. Members said last night that were certain the proposal would not pass, although it was hotly debated in some houses. Each house received one vote, and sorority members decided which way to vote during house meetings before the Panhel meeting last night. Panhel President Anita Hsueh said that sorority members voiced opposition after the proposal was made at the last Panhel meeting two weeks ago. During an open forum at the September 26 meeting, several sorority members sharply criticized the idea of moving rush to the fall. They said that the move would not allow women to become involved in other activities before pledging a sorority and would therefore hamper each house's diversity. Some sorority members said that they would not have rushed until their sophomore year if rush had been held in the fall. But supporters of moving rush said the change could increase the amount of time sorority members would be actively involved in the house, and would reduce some sororities' negative stereotypes. "A lot of houses could have gained from fall rush, but houses weighed the advantages with the disadvantages," Panhel President Hsueh said last night. The proposal to move rush originated among last year's sorority presidents. Hsueh said that most of them wanted to change rush last year, but did not have time to do so. A sorority may hold rush during both fall and spring if it needs to take in more members. During formal rush, a series of three groups of parties are held during the second week of the spring semester. Rushes must attend parties at all eight Panhel sororities.

Frats prove they're game for rushes

(10/08/90 9:00am)

For several fraternities, yesterday was game day. Phi Sigma Kappa watched professional football. Sigma Chi played volleyball. Next door, Alpha Tau Omega played ping-pong. And Phi Delta Theta offered grills full of wild game. But the name game was the game that was most crucial yesterday as both Interfraternity Council houses and freshmen attempted to put their best feet forward during the opening day of fraternity rush. Yesterday's barbecues and smokers and tonight's Monday Night Football parties begin a four-week-long process in which rushes try to identify the house which best fits their personality and brothers try to find rushes who best fit their house. Participating in the third year of dry rush, potential brothers spent yesterday wandering from house to house meeting name-tagged brothers, collecting cups and other paraphernalia, eating mounds of food and emptying two-liter bottles of soda. While houses varied in the time spent planning rush activities, brothers across campus stressed that rush is one of the year's central events. According to fraternity members, fraternities plan more events during the first few weeks of rush -- when rushes can attend events at any fraternity -- both to introduce rushes to the personality of the house and its members and to attract a large number of rushes to the house. As chapters begin holding invitation-only events after the first or second week, they hold fewer house-wide activities and concentrate on getting to know rushes more personally, members said. But games continue to dominate the list of formal rush events. During the next four weeks, Pi Kappa Alpha brothers will organize trips to miniature golf courses and batting cages and will host a three-on-three basketball tournament with teams composed of both rushes and brothers. Almost every University chapter holds both Monday Night Football gatherings and a casino night, featuring poker, blackjack and sometimes roulette as brothers and pledges win and lose thousands in funny money. And if rushes are not enticed by watching games, they may eat game. Phi Delt's "Game Hunt" barbecue, featured "humanely raised" game such as alligator, rabbit, buffalo, and the traditional 100-pound pig. Most fraternities offered simpler fare. Phi Kap Rush Chairperson Marty Voelker said his house made several trips to the market to purchase the 150 hamburgers, 50 hot dogs, and gallons of soda neccesary to feed the nearly 100 rushes who came to the house yesterday. Brothers at several other houses estimated that they spent approximately $200 feeding rushes hamburgers and hot dogs. "[Rushes] hit so many houses they've got it made," Voelker said. "They never have to eat on weekends."

UTV alters policy after program

(10/08/90 9:00am)

University Television officials will put stricter controls on what goes over the air and what goes on in the studio after controversy over what the station termed a "blatantly offensive" talk show. Officials Friday changed station policy to ban alcohol in the studio and proposed to give the UTV program director power to pull the plug in the middle of a live show, Production Manager Kirk Marcolina said last night. Taped shows would have to be viewed by the production director in advance. The executive committee canceled the program and fired the producers and hosts of the program -- College senior Richard Rothstein and Wharton senior Vincent Fumo -- because of their behavior on the show. During the 45-minute premiere, shown last Tuesday, Rothstein and Fumo discussed oral sex in graphic detail, displayed both male and female centerfolds from Playgirl and D-Cup magazines, and called first-year women whose pictures appeared in the Freshmen Record. During the show, Fumo and Rothstein each downed numerous shots of tequila. UTV said they fired the two because they could have damaged UTV's equipment. The alcohol ban in the studio became effective immediately after Friday's board meeting. At the meeting Friday, the board proposed that the program director sit in on all live shows and terminate broadcasts if he or she deems it necessary. Criticism of the show intensified after the publication of a partial transcript in a Friday Daily Pennsylvanian editorial. Because UTV can be seen only in Superblock dormitories, many students were not familiar with the show's content until they read the DP account. Several students said last night that the show was shocking and offensive. "I thought it was definitely in poor taste and the humor was pathetic," College sophomore Elana Horden, who viewed the show, said last night. "The other [UTV] shows were pretty disgusting also, but this one was unbelievably disgusting." Some students said last night that although Rothstein and Fumo had a right to express their opinions, they should not have said them on the air. "You can't step on other peoples' rights in order to get a joke out of it," College freshman Dana Lynch said. "They have a right to say it, but they shouldn't do it publicly." Associate Communications Professor Carolyn Marvin, who teaches a course on freedom of expression, said last night that while the printed transcripts she read were were offensive, UTV's right to broadcast the show should be questioned only if the DP's right to publish the transcript is also questioned. "I think the DP did a service by printing a portion of the transcript so that the campus could discuss it," Marvin said. "But if we were to say that UTV could not broadcast that portion, we would also have to say that the DP could not print it." Pig Penn has received media coverage in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania due in part to the fact that Fumo is the son of State Senator Vincent Fumo (D-Phila.) Matthew Hilk contributed to this story.

UTV fires 2 staffers over lewd program

(10/04/90 9:00am)

University Television fired two producers and canceled a show yesterday because the program's premiere broadcast was "offensive and blatantly dehumanizing," station officials said last night. Also during the broadcast, the hosts telephoned freshmen women, whom they identified on the air, pictured in The Freshman Record. When the women answered the calls, the producers tried to set them up on dates. They also exhibited photos of nude women from D-Cup magazine and nude men from Playgirl. The UTV Executive Committee statement last night apologized for the content of the show and said that no committee members knew of the show's content before the producers aired it Tuesday night. Almost none of the executive committee watched the 45-minute when it was initially aried. After viewing the program during a special meeting last night, the board decided to fire the two producers. The producers, College senior Richard Rothstein and Wharton senior Vincent Fumo, defended the show last night, saying that people overreacted to their humor and that they ran a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to warn viewers about the program's content. Pig Penn drew criticism from viewers who said it degraded women and lacked taste. And an administrator said that officials will investigate whether the producers violated University policy on the show. Last year, Rothstein and Fumo produced another controversial show, Penn Lifestyles with Rich and Randy, which came under fire for using ethnic slurs and a stereotypical portrayal of Italians. The two refused to apologize and no disciplinary action was taken. Fumo and Rothstein criticized the board for their actions, saying that the four committee members did not listen to their side of the story and did not consider the views of those who thought the show was funny. "There's a woman who lives on my floor who left a note on my door saying she thought it was funny," Rothstein said last night. Assistant to the President William Epstein, who had not heard about the show's content, said last night that the University would investigate whether the show violated University policies. "If it's a question of University facilities being used for behavior that goes beyond what the community as a whole agrees is respectful, then there's something we'd have to look into," Epstein said. College senior Emily Nichols, who said last night that she watched the show because of a friend's prodding, called the show's content graphic, vulgar and crude. "It was just sick," Nichols said. "There was a discussion -- 'If your girlfriend won't do oral sex, what good is she anyway?' " Nichols said. While on the air, the hosts drank several shots of tequila. Nichols said that by the end of the show, one of the hosts was visibly drunk. Engineering sophomore Tom Yannone said last night that the pictures of the nude women were "degrading to women," but he only stopped watching the show when the hosts started showing pictures of nude males. "When they pulled out this Playgirl, I said, 'I gotta go. I have to do homework,' " Yannone said. "The show was kind of dragging and it was kind of stupid." He added last night that most of his friends did not see the show. "If I didn't watch 10 hours of TV a day, I wouldn't have watched it either," the Engineering sophomore said.

Banners banned from trees and poles

(10/02/90 9:00am)

It will not be a banner year for student groups. The offices of Student Life and of Physical Plant have united to stiffen policies prohibiting hanging banners on trees, bushes, or light posts because of aesthetic, ecological, and economic concerns. The new policy, which goes into effect this week, mandates that student groups wishing to advertise on Locust Walk must use special poles attached to side rails to hang their banners. The groups must pay a $20 security deposit to obtain the poles. Physical Plant will cut down and remove banners hung on trees or on light poles. Performing arts group leaders said last night that the new policy will wreak havoc on their outdoor ticket booths. They said there are no supports to hang signs on the section of Locust Walk between Annenberg Plaza and Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, where they usually sell their tickets. The new policy will force them to advertise their shows at great distances from the tables they set up, they said. But Albert Moore, assistant director of student life activities and facilities, said the policy is necessary to prevent further damage to the trees, bushes and light posts. "Over a period of time, the sockets come loose and they are not effective anymore," Moore said. "[The policy will] save the University as a whole a lot of money." Pat Pancoast, who manages facility services for Physical Plant, said yesterday that although students have hung banners from trees or light posts for several years, it has been expressly forbidden under University policy. Pancoast said that since last spring, Physical Plant workers have cut down banners because both the trees and the poles were damaged when the wind blew. According to Moore, the old policy prohibited all banners from being hung on campus except across streets. But he said that the banners were hung all over anyway. "Last year, I actually saw a banner tied around a bunch of daffodils," Moore added. "There's no use having an area landscaped if its going to be destroyed by someone hanging a banner." Lisa Goldsmith, who is in charge of publicity for Theater Arts Program's The Tempest, said that the new policy will be a hassle, especially when more performing arts groups start selling tickets. Goldsmith said that Physical Plant came to her table in front of Annenberg Plaza yesterday morning to tear down the groups' banner. She said Physical Plant workers told her that she could hang her sign, but only if she went to the Office of Student Life and paid the $20 security deposit fee for the poles. "Not everyone is walking around with $20 with their pocket," Goldsmith said last night. "The whole thing is that we had our banner next to our table and now we can't do it." Performing Arts Council member David Simon said last night that though he agrees with the reasons for hanging banners on support poles, the lack of places to hang banners in front of the plaza will cause friction between arts groups over where they hang their banner. He added that the rule will also diminish the banners' effectiveness. "For the next couple of weeks it won't be a problem," the College senior said. "But in a few weeks, we will have four or five groups in that little square between Wharton and Annenberg." Simon predicted that performing arts groups will continue to sell tickets in the area but that passers-by will have a more difficult time identifying the group. "People are going to see a banner that's 30 feet away from the ticket place," Simon said. Moore said banners could not be hung in front of the Annenberg Plaza because there are no siderails on which to put the support poles. "There are no trip rails around the corners," Moore said. "We tried to come up with the least expensive and most practical way to do this." The new banner policy is the result of meetings last spring between Moore, Physical Plant administrators, last year's Senior Class Board and members of the Student Activities Council.

FOCUS: BYOB flows from conservative frat trend

(10/01/90 9:00am)

Two weeks ago, members of Delta Upsilon were busy printing up invitations and setting up the bar for the fraternity's housewarming party. But while the music was blaring, the Interfraternity Council was voting on a policy that would make DU's first keg party its last. At the IFC meeting that night, the council adopted a new "bring your own booze" alcohol policy. Citing insurance risks, the fraternity leaders prohibited all fraternities from buying alcohol with chapter funds -- a practice which has traditionally been a major draw to fraternity parties. Both administrators and IFC members have supported the BYOB policy as a way to reduce insurance risks. The change is the latest in the conservative drift of fraternity social life over the past four years, as the chapters -- in the face of pressure from the administration, fraternity alumni and national fraternity organizations -- have changed their policies, especially those concerning alcohol use. But many fraternity members say they view the policy as just another attempt by the administration to decrease the importance of fraternities on campus. Long-term Strategy? Because of the new policy, which some fraternity members said the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs masterminded, and administration efforts to bring non-Greek students to Locust Walk, members say the administration is trying to push fraternities to the sideline of campus life. Former IFC President Garrett Reisman said that he thinks President Hackney has an "overwhelming desire to change the [campus] atmosphere." He added that the administration has responded to national trends "at a much more extreme rate than it had to." But Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said the recent rash of changes to fraternity social policy attempt to exercise caution and safe practices, and are not attempts to de-emphasize the system. "It certainly isn't part of a long-term strategy," Morrisson said last week. "I think the whole trend has been to adopt a more responsible behavior in the light of realities that very serious things can happen." "Otherwise the dangers are too great," she said. New Social Scene Both Greek and non-Greek students predict that the new, self-imposed BYOB policy will create a more tightly-knit fraternity social scene, shutting out a substantial number of students. Eric Newman, the assistant director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, said he is concerned that while fraternities will continue to spend the same amount of money on social events, the number of parties -- and the number of people who will be entertained at parties -- will decrease. (EDS NOTE ****CORRECTION - NEWMAN IS 1986 WHARTON GRAD) "The social scene will shrink in size between 60 and 70 percent," said Newman, a 1987 College graduate. "There isn't going to be a Friday night party [for everyone]." "[Party] money is only available to members and close friends of the system," he added. Reisman also predicted that the fraternity social scene will shrink and that fewer students will interact with the system. "Previously, the only way people saw the Greek system was in parties," Reisman said. "Now people will be shut out and fraternities will be seen as more elitist." And while Social Planning and Events Committee Chairperson Varsha Rao said the BYOB policy will require more campus-wide social programming, Reisman is not sure if SPEC will be enough. "I don't know what will replace the Greek system," he said. VPUL Morrisson said that the administration will evaluate whether SPEC is able to fill the space previously occupied by large-scale fraternity parties. "We will continue to see the development of efforts like SPEC to create opportunities and see how [SPEC] develops with great interest this year," Morrisson said. But Morrisson said that SPEC's funding would not increase until the administration sees how the group spent this year's allocation. Although some fraternity members are predicting a gloomy future for Greek social life because of the BYOB policy, IFC President Bret Kinsella said that it it too early to judge what effect the new policy will have on the social system. "It's going to depend on the individual chapters," Kinsella said. "It's too early to be speculating on any trends." Roots of BYOB Fraternity brothers and administrators trace the roots of the BYOB policy to the fall of 1986, when Interfraternity Alumni Council forced chapters to adopt a dry rush policy. At the time council members said that dry rush would move fraternities' emphasis away from alcohol and toward brotherhood. "In 1985 and 1986, people were asking 'What are we doing,' " OFSA's Newman said. " 'Are we selling a fraternity or a bar?' " Newman recalled a fraternity social scene radically different than the one current students know. His descriptions of rush sharply contrast the delayed, dry rush now mandated by the Interfraternity Council. "Rush started when you got to campus," Newman, a Sigma Alpha Mu brother, said last week. "When you went to rush, you were expected to get drunk." But the increasing concern for risk-management -- highlighted by the formation of the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group in 1986 -- convinced the alumni council that changes were needed. The alumni pushed for a dry rush policy so that fraternities would follow state drinking laws and so they would not use alcohol to lure freshmen into their houses. Newman said that many fraternity brothers though dry rush was "forced down fraternities' throats." Former IFC President Reisman, a sophomore during the dry rush controversy, agreed. "Dry rush was pushed on us," Reisman, a fifth-year Engineering and Wharton senior, said last week. Brothers said they didn't disagree with the policy as much as they were upset that it was forced on them. Students blocked off Locust Walk with kegs and printed up t-shirts referring to the University as "CCCPenn" in protest of the move. The students charged that the keg ban went beyond even the state laws and that administrators did not incorporate student input in formulating the new policy. Administrators countered that the move was justified because the new state regulations forced the administration to assume more responsibilites. Tensions between the administration and fraternities ran high during the two and one-half months the policy was in effect, as fraternity members tried to pressure the administration into revoking it. "It got very ugly," Reisman said, recalling one meeting in which a student stood up and asked top administrators " 'Why don't you just get the hell out of here?' " A compromise was eventually reached under which the administration agreed to allow kegs and the IFC redrafted its alcohol policy to require proof of legal drinking age. Reisman attributed the overturning of the keg ban to student initiative, but said fraternities' inability to hold up their end of the deal because of problems monitoring led to the new BYOB regulations. And Newman said that the 1988 policy was bound to be short-lived and that BYOB was inevitable. "The fact is that there were parties where we felt the policy wasn't being followed," Newman said. "They are supposed to check for 21 ID at the door, but OFSA suspected some were not checking at the bar."

Greek Week activities begin today

(10/01/90 9:00am)

While the names of students have changed and some of the scheduled events have shifted focus, the annual Greek Week remains an important way of bringing the Greek system together and introducing it to others. Greek Week organizer David Hecht said last night that this week's events will highlight the positive qualities of the Greek system and will raise awareness of problems in West Philadelphia that fraternities and sororities can help solve. Hecht added that Greek Week also serves to introduce freshmen and others to the fraternity and sorority system at the University. The Week is traditionally held before the Interfraternity Council rush period to increase visibility of the system. And while Greek Week is composed of several events organized by the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, and the Black Intergreek Council, it also serves as a competition between fraternities and sororities. Scoring for the competition is based on the percentage of each chapter attending and participating in Greek Week events. Awards will be presented Saturday night at Barley and Hops for the highest-scoring fraternity and sorority in the weeks' events. Scheduled Greek Week activities will begin at 4 p.m. today as Leona Smith, chairperson of the Committee of Dignity and Human Fairness, is scheduled to speak on College Green along with several fraternity and sorority leaders. Smith is expected to speak on how college students can help fight homelessness in Philadelphia. Tomorrow, Greek members will conduct a walk-a-thon for charity throughout West Philadelphia and the University campus, cleaning up the area as they walk. Pledges collected from the walk-a-thon will be donated to the People's Emergency Center -- a non-profit West Philadelphia organization which provides food and shelter for the homeless. Some other events during the week include a "Meet the Greeks" day, when students and faculty will be able to meet fraternity and sorority members on Locust Walk all day Thursday. Additionally, BIG-C fraternities and sororities are presenting a step show in Irvine Auditorium at 7 p.m. this Friday. The show is free and open to all students and faculty. Greek Week will conclude after the football game on Saturday, with a Greek Olympiad, at which fraternities and sororities compete in athletic events. Members of the Progressive Student Alliance said they will plan several events to give the University community another perspective on the Greek system -- a system they claim provokes racism and sexual harassment. PSA members plan to kick off their own Greek Week activities tomorrow with a noontime protest in front of the Castle at the corner of 36th Street and Locust Walk. Members also plan to pass out fliers protesting President Sheldon Hackney's decision not to remove fraternities in order to diversify Locust Walk. PSA member Scott Kurashige said last night that the group intends to protest other Greek Week events but has not yet made specific plans.

FOCUS SIDEBAR: IFC's BYOB policy one of first in the country

(10/01/90 9:00am)

Despite national fraternity attempts to decrease their chapters' insurance risks, the new "bring your own booze" party policy is a step further than most other schools' fraternity systems are willing to go. Fraternity chapters across the nation face the same risks in buying and serving alcohol at parties, since they all hold the same insurance policies, and the BYOB policy is a standard regulation by national organizations. But the University's Interfraternity Council is the first at a Northeastern school, and only the seventh in the country, to adopt the BYOB policy for its members. But Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Assistant Director Eric Newman said he expects fraternity systems at many schools to implement BYOB policies shortly. "It's a domino effect," Newman said. Newman said the IFC implemented the regulations before other schools because of cooperation between OFSA, national officials and campus fraternity leaders. According to Newman, the University administration's involvement in getting the BYOB guidelines passed is nearly unprecedented. Concerned that over half of University fraternities were at great liability risk when they purchased alcohol with chapter funds -- which is prohibited in their insurance policies -- OFSA held a conference with the fraternity presidents last spring about the problem. Afterwards, OFSA wrote letters to all 26 IFC fraternities' national headquarters, asking risk-management consultants to come to the University for a retreat with chapter presidents and OFSA. Newman said the BYOB policy helps fraternities because it reduces their liabilities. He credited the policy to a proactive response from his office. "A lot of people didn't think nationals would get involved," Newman said. "They underestimated our ability to bring in nationals." But OFSA's organization of the meeting has drawn mixed responses. After the retreat, some current fraternity presidents said they felt they were scared into implementing the BYOB policy. But current IFC President Bret Kinsella said last week that he welcomed such retreats for their educational opportunities as long as they do not infringe on any chapter's autonomy. The Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group, which insures 16 of 26 IFC fraternities, mandates that chapters cannot buy alcohol using chapter funds. Another six fraternities carry similar policies. Some of the policies disallow group sources of alcohol, such as beer balls and kegs, and require professional doormen to prevent underage drinking. The policies will not cover any accident that occurs at a party where alcohol was purchased by the chapter -- regardless of whether the person is of legal drinking age or has even consumed alcohol at the party. Also, the FIPG reserves power to enforce the policy itself or through the national organization. These insurance policies have been requirements for parties since the fall of 1988. But according to former IFC President Garrett Reisman, these policies were not usually enforced, either by the national fraternity or by the insurance company. "It used to be that nationals were just winking at us," said Reisman, a fifth-year Engineering and Wharton senior. "Certain houses were feeling the heat [about following national alcohol policies]. Most weren't. Enforcement was lax." But OFSA and national officials said that nationals had tried to ensure that the BYOB policy was being upheld. And when the officials asked OFSA about violations, OFSA told them their suspicions and began planning the retreat.

Panhel may move rush to the fall

(09/27/90 9:00am)

Panhellenic Association members are engaged in an internal battle over whether to move the formal rush to the fall semester. At the group's bi-weekly meeting last night, members and officers argued heatedly about the proposal, which has been under consideration since last semester. Fall rush advocates said last night that moving rush would eliminate "pettiness" between sororities as rush approaches. They also said the change would free up the spring semester for system-wide projects. But those opposing the move argued that first-year women need a semester before rush to join other organizations so that pledges will be more involved in the University. Several sisters said that if formal rush had been held during the fall, they would not have rushed because they were not fully informed about the system. Members will vote on the proposal at their next meeting in two weeks. If the proposal passes, formal rush would be held next fall. It would begin either at the end of September or the beginning of October, with pledges possibly being initiated as early as January. In order to move formal rush, six of the eight Panhel representatives must approve the measure. Each Panhel sorority receives one vote. During last night's hour-long debate, several sorority members defended keeping formal rush in the spring while members of Panhel's executive board, who said they were "playing the devil's advocate," explained reasons for holding rush in the fall. Executive board members stressed that the board's arguments for fall rush during the forum were made so that both sides of the issue would be presented. Panhel President Anita Hsueh said the executive board was divided on the issue. Hsueh, an Engineering senior, said the idea to move rush came from suggestions from former sorority presidents. The presidents told Panhel officers that fall rush would be easier to plan and said the pledges would have an additional semester as sisters, Hsueh added. Sorority members who advocated formal fall rush at last night's meeting maintained that the move would ease the pledges' transition from high school to a college environment and that the rush would be graced by better weather and increased alumni involvement. Advocates also said it would improve rush because sororities could hold rush over a series of weekends, rather than over the one week spring rush allots. According to members of the Panhel executive board, the organization has experimented with both fall and spring formal rush. Approximately every three years Panhel considers switching semesters for formal rush, they said. Panhel has held formal rush in the spring for the past three years. The University's Panhel system presently mandates that "formal" rush be held in the spring, although "informal" rush may be held in the fall. During formal rush, rushes must attend three rounds of parties and must attend all eight parties held by Panhel sororities during the first round. For the informal fall rush, rushes need only attend rush functions at the sororities of their choice. One Panhel sorority, Kappa Delta, held informal rush this term.