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Kappa Sig ushers in the BYOB-party era

(09/24/90 9:00am)

Kappa Sigma fraternity appealed to partygoers' musical tastes and their pinched pocketbooks last Friday night as the chapter threw the Universitys first open "bring your own bottle" fraternity party. Kappa Sig used the band Chaos Theory and free entry as incentives to attract students to the first party registered with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs since the Interfraternity Council's BYOB alcohol policy went into effect last Thursday. The party was complete with a policy-mandated professional bouncer, a storage area -- located near the dance floor -- for alcohol, and wristbands to identify partygoers who had shown identification. While both fraternity members and other students who attended said the party was a success, two students said they saw underage friends drinking alcohol. Also, one legal-age drinker, College senior Robert Williams, said that he entered the party with alcohol without being checked for identification. And Wharton senior Jennifer Dietrich, who is 21 years old, said that she drank without wearing a wrist-tag and saw other friends drinking without the tags. "People who were underage were able to get alcohol from friends who were in the party who were legal," Dietrich said. "There's nothing anyone can do about underage people getting alcohol from their friends." Kappa Sig President Peter Vandergoes said that although the party was a success both logistically and socially, the size of the party made monitoring it a difficult task. "It's impossible to say that at no point in time no one underage was drinking," said Vandergoes, a College and Wharton senior. "We have monitors who look for underage drinkers." Fraternity members and a professional bouncer monitored the entrance to the party according to the regulations mandated by the IFC. "No one got through with alcohol that they showed us [without being checked for identification], but it's not our job to frisk people," Vandergoes said. Under the new alcohol policy, the IFC does not monitor parties until violations of the policy are reported and prosecuted by the Greek Peer Judicial Board. Kappa Sig's party was one of two registered parties this weekend. Phi Kappa Sigma also held a party last weekend, but it was closed to the public. Ten students who attended the party said yesterday that they enjoyed themselves at Kappa Sig. Several of them described the scene as calmer, less crowded and less animated than parties held under the old policy. "I thought it was fun, but I thought that it lacked certain free sociability that other parties had," said College sophomore Hallie Levin. "It was not a loose crowd." Levin said that the new BYOB policy changed the party atmosphere because it limited the amount of alcohol people could drink. "I think it was the idea that people weren't drinking more than the reality of people weren't drinking," Levin said. Amy Mertz, who, like Levin, is underage and did not bring alcohol to the party, said that the Kappa Sig house was as crowded as previous fraternity parties she had attended, but that the atmosphere was calmer. "The difference was that people who didn't have 21 ID were getting wasted before [coming to the party] and then showing up," said Mertz, a College sophomore. And while College sophomore Levin said that she'll continue to go to fraternity parties, she said she will make other plans if she wants more than music. "I'll still definately go to frat parties," Levin said.

Author says frat book is a call for change

(09/20/90 9:00am)

Anthropology Professor Peggy Sanday's new book is not just a description of fraternity rituals, but an attempt to end white male fraternities' domination of the University campus, she said this week. Sanday said she will have failed her goal in writing Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Privilege and Brotherhood on Campus if every fraternity has not been removed from Locust Walk 10 years from now. In the book, Sanday concluded that many men in fraternities use sexual aggression to dominate women. She described violent, often grotesque induction ceremonies in University fraternities -- rituals which she said promote the idea of sexual dominance. In a Chronicle of Higher Education article this week, Sanday said that the monopoly on "prime residential property" -- namely Locust Walk -- by white, upper-class males illustrates the privileged status of fraternities at the University. The anthropology professor, who began researching her book in 1983 after an alleged gang rape at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, said last night that she believes every student who wants to live on Locust Walk should meet the standards for diversity, pursuit of knowledge and international understanding set by the University and President Sheldon Hackney. And those who do not illustrate these characteristics -- namely fraternities, Sanday said -- should not be allowed to live in the heart of campus. Eric Newman, assistant director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, said yesterday that although University fraternities have had problems in the past with the issues described in Sanday's book, their system has changed over the last several years. Removing fraternities from the Walk is not the way to solve these problems, he said. "As an office, we recognize these problems exist and we are trying to find effective solutions," Newman said. But Sanday said last night that she has not seen any change in the fraternity system since she began her research. "Some of the abuses that I describe in the book happened as late as fall of 1989," Sanday said. "I don't see a whole lot of evidence of change." Sanday said she was disappointed by Hackney's announcement that no fraternity will be moved from the Walk as the University attempts to house a more diverse group of students there. "You can't diversify the Walk without removing the fraternities," Sanday said. Kim Morrisson, vice provost for University life and co-chairperson of the Locust Walk Task Force -- the committee charged with finding ways to diversify the Walk -- said yesterday that achieving diversity will require some creativity. The committee will not remove current residences, she said. "To me, diversity is a concept embodied by inclusion rather than exclusion," Morrisson said.

BYOB is predicted

(09/20/90 9:00am)

As fraternities held their final keg parties last night, students and fraternity members alike lamented the consequences of the new Interfraternity Council's "bring your own booze" party policy. The rules, which take effect today, say that guests at fraternity parties can bring a maximum of 12 cans of beer to parties and will have to present proof of age to professional bouncers before entering with the alcohol. The rules state that guests must turn in alcohol upon entering a party and claim it by presenting a ticket. Both Greek and non-Greek students said that the BYOB policy will force fraternities to throw smaller parties and hold more mixers between fraternities and sororities, closing off the fraternity social scene to many students. "If you don't know a lot of brothers, it's going to be harder to get invited," Acacia brother Brian Baxt said last night. Saying that "free-flowing alcohol is a social lubricant," the College junior predicted that fraternity parties will lose their atmosphere. Many non-fraternity members also said that new students will have a harder time getting involved in the fraternity social scene. "It will be especially tough for freshmen," College freshman Leanne Mos said. "If you don't know any upperclassmen in the fraternity, then you're kind of out in the cold." Mos said the BYOB policy will make parties too elitist. Fraternity brothers said that though the new policy looks effective on paper, partygoers and brothers are already looking into ways to circumvent the policy. "I definitely think people will find ways around [the alcohol policy," Sigma Alpha Mu brother Monte Mann said. "As far as I can tell, people are trying to find ways to get around it -- within the rules," Baxt said. Some students said that they think the policy will force fraternities to provide more entertainment at the parties. Chapters will be able to charge for the parties at which they do not serve alcohol. The IFC changed its alcohol policy because of insurance policies which 20 out of 26 fraternities hold. These policies prohibit chapter purchases of alcohol for parties and will not cover injuries which occur at parties where the chapter buys alcohol. Andrew Libby contributed to this story.

Under BYOB, IFC sets limits on alcohol use

(09/19/90 9:00am)

Students will be allowed to bring a maximum of 12 cans of beer to fraternity parties and will have to show proof of age to professional bouncers when new "bring your own bottle" rules are implemented Thursday. Partiers will also be forced to turn in alcohol they bring to the chapter in exchange for claim tickets. Kegs and other large containers will be banned. Under the new policy, passed at last Thursday's IFC meeting, guests who are 21 and older will receive a bracelet or some other marker after proving they are of legal drinking age. The chapter will ticket guests' alcohol as the guests bring it and will dispense it when guests turn their tickets in. According to the new IFC policy, guests not wearing the bracelets or holding the appropriate marker will not be permitted to collect alcohol. Partygoers can bring alcohol other than beer, but the amount brought by each guest may not exceed the alcohol content of a 12-pack of beer. All chapters will begin holding parties without monitors as long as they do not violate the BYOB policy. If they violate the policy, they will still be able to hold date parties, mixers and brother events without monitors, and can hold other parties with outside student monitors. It is not clear whether fraternities will still charge admission to parties. The new alcohol policy will be enforced by the recently-created Greek Peer Judicial Board, which handles all infractions of IFC, Panhellenic and Black InterGreek Council rules which do not violate University policy. The IFC's alcohol policy change comes after national fraternity officials came to campus nearly two weeks ago to warn fraternity presidents about liability problems which most houses faced in buying alcohol with chapter funds. The national officials said yesterday that they are pleased with the IFC's decision to implement a BYOB policy and that since all fraternities must follow the BYOB plan, they will all be "on a level plane." John Perkins, the director of risk management and housing for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, said it will ease the burden on nationals because campus houses will police the BYOB policy. "Once it's passed on the campus level, it relieves our role as the enforcer because groups on campus are watching each other," Perkins said. "We can get on with what we like to do -- the education side." The alcohol policy which the IFC overturned Thursday placed no restrictions on the chapters' alcohol purchase. The policy did not meet requirements set forth by the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group, which insures 16 of 26 IFC fraternities. Four additional fraternities hold policies which contain similar strictures. According to the insurance companies' policy, if an accident occurs during a party at one of these 20 fraternities and the chapter purchased alcohol, the accident will not be covered by insurance and the fraternity itself will be liable for any claims. Fraternity members said yesterday that they think the new policy and its provisions for enforcement will work. Delta Upsilon fraternity President Brian Riley said that he thinks that the new policy will benefit fraternities in the long run because "now there are more advantages to being Greek." He said members of host chapters will be more able to relax because they will not have to worry as much about the guests. Riley, a Wharton senior, also said that he is confident that the policy will be enforced and that the IFC's monitoring policy will be successful. SAE President Mike Feinberg said that the new policy is a positive step even though its implications are not clear. "Based on what the exec board told us [after researching BYOB policies], it can work," Feinberg, a College senior, said. "And if we put forth the effort, there's no reason why it can't work at Penn." Students -- especially freshmen -- said that while they think the policy is necessary, it is inconvenient. Some students said that they hope the IFC's changed alcohol policy will move social life away from fraternities. Wharton freshman Ethan Falkove said that he probably will not go back to fraternities for a while because of the new alcohol policy. " There's no point in going to fraternity parties if you're not going to drink," Falkove said. "I don't have a fake I.D. and I don't look 21." But College freshman Jason Polevoy said that while he understands why the IFC is changing its policy, he doesn't think many people take the changes seriously. "[People] talk about the changes more as a joke," Polevoy said. "A lot of people think it's ridiculous." Anne Package, a residential advisor in the Quadrangle's Community House, said she is worried that the policy change may cause more problems on her floor. But she said she does not expect students on her floor to miss old-style fraternity parties. "More students started from the beginning saying 'I hate fraternity parties' and they ask what else there is," College senior Package said. "I'm forced to say 'Not a whole lot.' " Social Planning and Events Committee Chairperson Varsha Rao said last week that she "almost feels pressure" for SPEC to fill the vacuum that the new party policy has created. "I know definitely that this [new policy] accentuates the need for SPEC," the Wharton and College senior said. "A facet of student social life is fading quickly." "I think that this is evidence that when we started SPEC we knew that trends in social life were changing," she said. Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris also said that SPEC's importance will grow as a result of the changes. "[SPEC] should be utilized so that [the administration] can provide social programming for students who will not have the advantage and privilege to participate in fraternity social life," Harris, a College senior, said. "[The new policy is] going to leave a lot of students who would like to attend fraternity parties out because the parties will be smaller and more exclusive."

Anthropology prof's book details U. fraternities' rituals

(09/19/90 9:00am)

The alleged 1983 gang rape of a University student at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity has returned to campus debate after the release of a University professor's analysis of the incident and of fraternities as a whole. Anthropology Professor Peggy Reeves Sanday's latest book, Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood and Privilege on Campus, examines cases in which fraternity brothers in small groups attempt to dominate women by "pulling train," or gang-raping them. Several faculty members called the book an excellent analysis of fraternity culture and Womens Center Director Elena Dilapi called Sanday's work "the book to read" at the University. And although some fraternity members acknowledged that many of the events in Fraternity Gang Rape did occur, most say the book portrays a system of the past. Some members criticized Sanday for trying to inflame passions with her book. Sanday writes in her introduction that she is bound by professional ethics not to reveal the location of her study. However, several references in the book make it clear that Sanday is describing the University, including details about Locust Walk, the high rises, and even the modern-art sculptures which dot the campus. The anthropology professor describes incidents in specific houses using pseudonyms and in most cases does not give distinguishing characteristics of the houses. The alleged 1983 gang rape is attributed to the "XYZ" fraternity, but it is clear that the incident occured at ATO because of the citations and supporting evidence she uses. Sanday also says the case has received too much publicity to be truly disguised. Sanday uses personal, legal and journalistic accounts of the ATO rapes from the night of the crime to ATO's final eviction from campus nearly one year later. She also uses documented studies in anthropology and other social sciences. Sanday and members of her staff interviewed the victim, whom she calls Laurel, members of ATO and other University fraternities, and two other women who had contact with ATO. The book focuses on the initiation process, containing graphic accounts of the initiation of two fraternity brothers interviewed by Sanday's research staff. According to accounts in the text, brothers first attempt to cleanse pledges of their weak "femininity" during initiation. After the pledges are "cleansed," the brothers test their loyalty to the fraternity and attempt to prove their strength. Sanday writes that as part of one man's "cleansing," the brothers forced the pledges to stand nude from the waist down while brothers degraded their penises and coated the pledges' testes using Ben-Gay and a basting brush. The book also says that the brothers concocted a drink containing sour milk, hot peppers and rotten squid for the pledges to drink and subsequently vomit. Afterwards, the brothers forced them to clean up the mess they made. Sanday's premise is that men do not inherently seek to rape women. She asserts that during pledging men are conditioned to downgrade women because older fraternity brothers try to destroy pledges' feminine traits. Sanday argues that gang rape is an expression of male sexual domination and that fraternity brothers judge their self-worth by the number of women they have sex with. She says the brothers bring women to near unconsciousness with alcohol and put them into inherently coercive situations. Using the ATO incident as a springboard, Sanday concludes that gang rapes are the result of brothers' "working a yes out" -- pressuring women to change their "no" to a "yes." She also says the brothers receive satisfaction for both their homosexual and heterosexual desires during a gang rape. (****EDS NOTE: Clarification - Kinsella said that the system MAY have showed a system of the past...) Interfraternity Council President Bret Kinsella said yesterday that Sanday's book accurately shows a fraternity system of the past, but said the University's fraternity system has sought to eradicate the problems Sanday traces out. Kinsella, who said that he has not read the whole book, said yesterday that the IFC has moved closer to solving problems such as alcohol abuse and acquaintance rape. He said the IFC now requires each fraternity to have a "social awareness chairman," who works to educate brothers about such issues. "As a Greek system we have taken several steps in the past three years to deal with the issues forwarded by Sanday which seem to be so prevalent in our society," Kinsella said. "I think the issues she deals with are far too serious to ignore, but we have attempted to deal with [them]." Kinsella refused to comment on specific incidents in the book and did not say whether initiation practices criticized by Sanday are still used. Beta Theta Pi brother David Wessells said that Sanday is both too general and too critical in her evaluation of fraternities, adding that incidents such as the ATO rapes are "isolated." "Too many times Professor Sanday implies the fraternity system is the cause of sexual abuse on campus," Wessels said. "[Unless] feminists such as Sanday begin to offer solutions and advice rather than antagonize the situation, the campus will continue to grow more and more divided." Current ATO President Nick Lobaccaro did not return repeated phone calls. Women's Center Director DiLapi said yesterday that "Fraternity Gang Rape" can help both men and women solve problems of abuse of women. "With understanding [about fraternity practices], . . . we can look to a future that doesn't hate women so much and doesn't perpetuate crimes against women," DiLapi said. Dilapi said she believes the fraternity system will be able to change in positive ways. Microbiology Professor Helen Davies called Sanday "a brilliant anthropologist" and said the book contributes knowlege to both the University and the academic world about the fraternity culture. "It's going to be a very important anthropological research book because she's gone to the source of the information -- the people," Davies said yesterday. "It gives us a perspective that people haven't had before." DiLapi said she thinks the details of both the rape and the initiation will not in themselves incite women. "I am sure that there will be men on this campus who will be as outraged as women," DiLapi said. "It is my hope that those men will join with us."

UTV suspends coverage of IFC's deliberations

(09/14/90 9:00am)

A University Television staffer reported the details of last night's closed Interfraternity Council meeting then pulled his own story after bowing to pressure from IFC officials. The reporter, a fraternity member who requested anonymity out of concern for reprisals, attended the meeting as a representative of his fraternity, but twice left the chambers to videotape reports of discussion taking place inside. The UTV staffer said late last night that he had not realized that the details of the meeting would be suppressed and thought he would be able to broadcast his reports last night. He said he did not realize that the session was closed to the press. After hearing of the press block, he re-entered the meeting. UTV did not broadcast the reporter's story last night, instead airing only a statement from IFC President Bret Kinsella. UTV can only be received on channel 13 in Superblock dormitories. For most of the meeting IFC officials were not aware that the fraternity member was also attending the meeting as a UTV reporter. They apparently discovered the reporter's plans to report on the proceedings near the end of the meeting. IFC President Kinsella said in an interview after the meeting that he spoke with the reporter before the story was to air. "We have come to an agreement about this," Kinsella said. Other UTV staffers denied last night that the reporter had a conflict of interests by reporting on the organization of which he is a member. "He just wanted to cover the story," said College junior Mike Simon, UTV's sports director. "When I am in [the meeting], I'm in a fraternity. When I am out here, I am both," he said during the meeting.

IFC passes BYOB party regulations

(09/14/90 9:00am)

In a move which will fundamentally change the fraternity social scene, the Interfraternity Council voted last night to prohibit University chapters from providing partygoers with alcohol bought with chapter funds, IFC President Bret Kinsella said last night. After the meeting, which was closed to the public, Kinsella declined to give further details about the new regulations, including how soon the new rules will go into effect. He said that he wants fraternity members to review the new "bring your own beer" policy within their chapters before its specifics are made public. Kinsella said there will be a press conference detailing the policy Monday. The restructuring of the alcohol policy comes after a discussion last weekend between the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, national fraternity officials and IFC presidents. The representatives of all 26 IFC fraternities came to campus to address discrepencies between the IFC's alcohol policy and many chapters' national regulations. OFSA and national officials told the IFC members that if they did not adopt a BYOB policy, many chapters would risk losing their insurance policies and incurring liability for accidents at parties. Kinsella announced the change in policy last night after IFC members debated for nearly three hours. Kinsella would not say if the IFC passed other regulations which members said were being discussed. Several members said the IFC was considering eliminating cover charges and requiring professional bouncers at chapter parties. During the meeting, several brothers and voting IFC members left the meeting periodically to hold heated discussions with each other and to make hasty phone calls. After almost two hours of discussion, a University Televison reporter, who is also a fraternity member, came out of the meeting to tape reports on the meeting's progress. The reporter, who requested anonymity, said that the IFC was deadlocked at that point. He said some fraternities whose national policies prohibit the chapter from buying alcohol wanted to vote against the BYOB policy. Twenty IFC fraternities hold insurance policies which prohibit alcohol purchase with chapter funds. Sixteen fraternities are covered by the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group, which enforces its regulations itself along with the national fraternity headquarters, according to a national fraternity risk-management specialist. Four other IFC fraternities carry similar policies. Wednesday several IFC and fraternity members said that although implementing BYOB was not guaranteed, they were not aware of any alternatives to it.

Nationals say U. frats broke alcohol rules

(09/13/90 9:00am)

National representatives from all 26 Interfraternity Council fraternities came to the University Saturday for a day-long powwow with the chapters' presidents to discuss widespread violations of the national groups' alcohol policies. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs invited the representatives to discuss insurance problems caused by discrepancies between 20 fraternities' national alcohol policies and IFC rules, according to OFSA and national officials. IFC policy currently places no restrictions on chapters' alcohol purchase except to forbid grain alcohol. But 20 IFC national fraternities prohibit chapters from buying alcohol with house funds. Some national groups also prevent the presence of kegs and other "excess amounts" of alcohol at parties. These national restrictions comply with the fraternities' liability insurance requirements. The Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group insures 16 of the 20 fraternities involved. OFSA Assistant Director Eric Newman said last night that the national representatives were invited to last weekend's retreat because of concern over alcohol use at fraternity parties. He said Saturday's meeting was aimed to help the fraternities reduce their liability for alcohol policy violations. "Right now, or previously, the undergraduates were assuming a lot of liability," Newman said. "We were being proactive about something that could hurt their futures." But several fraternity members said yesterday that the national and OFSA officials attempted to scare them into implementing a "bring your own beer" policy for the entire IFC. At an IFC meeting tonight, members will address changes to the group's alcohol policy and the possibility of a BYOB policy, several executive board members said. The IFC, and not University administrators, is responsible for redrafting the policy to meet the nationals' guidelines. Although some house presidents said they advocate a BYOB policy to dodge insurance risks, others said the policy would be too restrictive and would be unfair to the fraternities whose nationals allow chapters to buy alcohol. Another president said he thought the policy, if passed, would not be enforced. According to Beta Theta Pi national Chapter Management Consultant Jeff Partridge, the insurer, FIPG, reserves the right to conduct their own searches of fraternity parties without the national organization's knowledge. If there is alcohol at a party paid for by the chapter's treasury, the FIPG automatically refuses to cover any damages incurred at the party and can suspend the chapter's policy. The 16 national fraternities also patrol the houses. Another four fraternities, while insured by another carrier or by their own program, hold similar policies. These policies are enforced by the national headquarters. The restrictions prohibiting alcohol purchase with chapter funds were written into most fraternity chapter insurance policies in 1988. Most chapter presidents said they knew of the nationals' alcohol regulations before the Saturday retreat, but added that they did not understand their liability implications. "We came out of the meeting convinced that BYOB was the only alternative," Delta Upsilon fraternity President Brian Riley said yesterday. Riley, a College senior, added that OFSA officials said during the session that they wanted presidents to believe that a BYOB policy was the only option. National chapter representatives said their alcohol policies must be enforced and that it will not ignore violations. They said fraternities must conform with the regulations immediately or risk "very serious" punishment. They said, however, that they think fraternity members are willing to work with the national chapters and with the University administration. Beta Management Consultant Partridge said Beta's national organization knows the University chapter's parties violate chapter alcohol policy. "We are asking them [members of the chapter] to take some drastic steps," Partridge said. "They can no longer pool [chapter] funds. Our goal is for them to be in adherence with all state and local laws." IFC Vice President David Hecht said yesterday that the IFC would examine BYOB policies at tonight's meeting. But Hecht stressed that BYOB would not necessarily be the IFC's solution to the liability problem. "Certain frats on this campus have different insurance policies," the Wharton senior said. "A BYOB would prohibit certain fraternities from doing what they are allowed to do." Several fraternity members have said the IFC will also consider other changes in party policies at tonight's meeting, such as not charging for admission to parties and requiring professional bouncers to monitor the door. They said these would be considered in tandem with the BYOB policy. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, the Cornell IFC, faced with the same insurance clauses, is considering hiring caterers for their parties. The chapter would charge an entrance fee and the caterer would assume all liability. But IFC officials and house officials and members said they have found no alternatives to the BYOB option. "We don't know what our alternatives are," Hecht said. "The meeting tomorrow night might generate alternatives to BYOB, which would be okay as long as we meet insurance requirements." DU President Riley said that his chapter did not support BYOB because of fears that BYOB would not be enforced, despite the fact his chapter is prohibited from buying alcohol. But Sigma Alpha Epsilon President Mike Feinberg said he expects whatever IFC measure passed to be enforced because he feels that the University will judge the Greek Peer Judicial Board's effectiveness by how well the policy is enforced. "If the Greek Peer Judicial Board wants to survive, they'd better enforce it," the College senior said. "If they don't enforce this, it won't exist."

Plan for Castle house draws varied reviews:

(09/11/90 9:00am)

Greek reaction to Hackney statement mixed Greek reaction to the president's announcement about the future of the Psi Upsilon house split along gender lines yesterday as fraternities criticized and sororities lauded the move. President Sheldon Hackney announced Friday night that next semester a non-fraternity group of students will be housed in the Castle, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk. The move marks the administration's first step to diversify the Walk. Several fraternity members said that while they support bringing a more diverse student population to residences on the Walk, they were dismayed by the announcement which eliminated all fraternities from the running for the Castle house. Kappa Alpha Psi President Lerone Sidberry, a Wharton senior, said that Hackney's plans to diversify the Walk unfairly discriminates against black fraternities. "I'd like to see the walk diversified, be it a sorority, or a Latino organization, or something other than a white fraternity on the Walk," Sidberry said. "By [Hackney] excluding all fraternities from the Castle, he seems to have killed the hopes for a black fraternity on Locust Walk." But sorority members, who are still in the running to live in the facility, said they were excited by the president's statement. And Chi Omega President Kelly Christie said last night that her group would love to move in. "This vacancy affords the opportunity for the University to provide a safe and viable housing option for women at the center of campus," said Christie, a College senior. "As a diverse group of women, Chi Omega would be pleased to begin the trend of diversifying the Walk." Interfraternity Council President Bret Kinsella said last night that while the IFC fully supports diversifying the Walk, he is disappointed that Hackney has denied fraternities a chance to live in the Castle. "I see it as unfortunate that Dr. Hackney seems to have categorically excluded fraternities from the opportunity to reside in the Castle," Kinsella said. Several fraternity members said they hope moves to diversify the Walk will not include any relocations of current Locust Walk fraternities. Pi Lambda Phi house manager Daryl Michalak said he does not think any current Walk fraternities should be punished in the efforts to diversify residents of the area. "I don't believe we should randomly kick off fraternities," he said. "It's an accident that Locust Walk was the center of campus." Theta Xi member Jason Soslow, a College senior, said that he does not object to a non-fraternity group moving into the Castle. But he said he sees the administration's interest in diversifying the Walk as an image-boosting campaign. "The administration has funny ideas about the center of campus and its hopes for it," Soslow said. "Over the past 15 years, the University has spent a lot of money to increase ratings in certain polls, and a major goal is to eliminate negative press." Several fraternity and sorority members expressed support for Hackney's statement that he would consider relocating office space to make it possible for a large concentration of students to live on the Walk. Beta Theta Pi brother David Benditt, a College sophomore, said clearing out offices for student housing would be an "easy solution" to diversifying the Walk. But he said he does not think most people are irritated by the present make-up of Locust Walk. "My personal belief is that the president is feeling a lot of pressure [to deny fraternities the opportunity to live in the Castle]," Benditt said. "Personally, it's not irking me that Locust Walk is not diverse."

Phi Sig nixes pledge process

(09/07/90 9:00am)

The Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity announced last month that it has abolished its pledging program nationwide, and will instead require that rushes become full brothers five days after receiving a bid. To replace pledging, Phi Sig has instituted a new "Brotherhood Program" which mandates chapter-conducted seminars for all brothers on topics including substance abuse, financial planning and values and ethics. The seminars, which will be conducted during most other fraternities' pledge periods, begin just after new members are initiated in mid-November and continue through mid-March. The seminar topics were chosen by the national committee this summer during weekly chapter meetings. In some instances, the chapter may decide to extend rush for individuals if brothers are not certain that a person is suitable for the fraternity. Chad Markle, president of the University's chapter of Phi Sig, said he was surprised by the national organization's decision to implement the Brotherhood Program. Two other University-affiliated fraternities Zeta Beta Tau and Kappa Alpha Psi have abolished pledging, as has the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which does not have a University chapter. "Looking at ZBT and TKE, we had a feeling that it might be the wave of the future," said Markle, a Wharton senior. "[Members of the national committee] were very impressed with the results of ZBT and TKE. I wouldn't be surprised if some other fraternities would have a brotherhood program." Markle also said that the goals of the Brotherhood Program will not differ markedly from those of the pledging process. "We will use [the Brotherhood Program] to communicate our goals and moral objectives instead of using pledging." Membership without pledging will make the rush process more important, Markle said. Tom Recker, executive vice-president of Phi Sigma Kappa national headquarters, said last Friday that the halt of the pledge program was not a response to any specific pledging incident in a Phi Sig chapter. "I think all national fraternities are tired of the problems caused by hazings," Recker said. "We're at a point that we feel we've tried everything else." Phi Sig has been looking into alternatives to the pledge process and developing the Brotherhood Program for the past three years, Recker said.

AEPi named top chapter by national

(09/06/90 9:00am)

The University's chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity was named Outstanding Chapter and garnered five additional awards at the AEPi national convention in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida this summer. Gamma Chapter President John Meister, a College senior, said that a "fantastic" rush last fall, where the chapter took in twice as many new members as in previous years, helped win the award. Selection for best chapter is based on six criteria: overall program effectiveness, scholarship, campus and philanthropic service, relationships with alumni and the national committee, and service to the Greek community. There are 120 AEPi chapters in the United States. Over 100 attended the conference. In addition to being named outstanding chapter, the Gamma chapter won the Edward and Francine Gold Jewish Community Service Award and was named the best delegation at the convention. David Hecht, a Wharton senior, was awarded the undergraduate achievement key and was named undergraduate supreme governor. Meister was named the outstanding undergraduate. "[The University's] chapter has an outstanding crew of young men" said Rabbi Stanley Davids, chairperson of the national convention's awards committee. "I've never encountered a chapter where there were so many high-quality leaders."

Franklin fund to go to city students

(04/18/90 9:00am)

Two hundred years to the day after Benjamin Franklin's death, Mayor Wilson Goode announced yesterday that the money Franklin bequeathed to Philadelphia in 1790 will be invested, and the income generated from the trust will be used to promote vocational education for selected city high school students. The announcement comes after several months of discussion by a special committee appointed by the mayor to decide what to do with the fund, which began as $4000 and has grown to about $2.5 million, of which the city will receive about $520,000. City Council members decided to designate the generated income to the Philadelphia Foundation, a community foundation set up to handle trusts, after hearing recommendations of the committee. The group considered over 270 written proposals and heard comments from approximately 20 Philadelphia citizens in an open forum two weeks ago. The money will be used for scholarships for high school students planning to attend vocational schools. Recipients of the scholarships will be determined by the Philadelphia school system. Ernesta Ballard, a member of the Foundation's board of managers, said that the organization was pleased to be entrusted with the funds and would pay special attention to women and minorities in distributing the scholarships. "The Philadelphia Foundation is the one organization to carry this out according to the wishes of [Franklin]," Ballard said. "This is a community foundation owned by everyone in the community." The Foundation plans to match the income it will receive from the fund and waive the fund's administrative fees for three years, which they estimated to be about five percent when they presented their request to the committee two weeks ago. Whitfield Bell, chairman of the mayor's committee, said that the process of determining who would receive Franklin's funds was "encouraging." "The opinions [on how to spend the funds] showed a remarkable unanimity," Bell said. "Half of the people wanted the money used for education, though they defined it in a broad, varied mannner." "All the requests we received were serious," he said. "There were no silly proposals and no self-serving proposals." The committee stressed that women and minorities should benefit from the fund, according to History Department Chairperson Richard Beeman, one of two University faculty members on the committee. "The people Franklin envisioned helping were married white males," Beeman said last night. "We wanted to include both men and women."