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IFC Rush Fines Led by LCA, AEPi

By Daniel C. Stevenson
News Editor

The Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee found 13 independent living groups guilty of rush violations and fined them a total of $8,800, according to IFC Judcomm Chair Daniel P. Dunn '94. The guilty verdicts and penalties were made public following Judcomm trials last weekend.

Lambda Chi Alpha led the list of violators with $2,500 in fines and several sanctions for badmouthing and desk rule violations, Dunn said. Alpha Epsilon Pi had the second largest fine of $1,500 and received sanctions for improper message taking and failing to produce freshmen to speak with members of other fraternities within 15 minutes, he said.

The Panhellenic Association processed only one sorority rush violation this year, said Panhel President A. Rebecca Mallin '95. Sigma Kappa was put on social probation for the fall term because sisters interacted with female freshmen at a fraternity party, Mallin said.

"When it's all said and done we'll collect around $12,000 this year," which is considerably more than the nearly $3,000 collected last year, Dunn said. "I expect that I'll collect another $3,000 from people who didn't open their desks correctly," he said. The front desks at all living groups were required to be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day of rush, Dunn said.

"People ran a more aggressive rush this year" which contributed to the higher penalties, Dunn said. Also, "we got a couple of convictions we never would have gotten without Clearinghouse," Dunn said. This year's new computerized Clearinghouse system permitted more accurate monitoring of the checking in and out of freshmen, he said.

The punishments for the violations "range from a slap on the wrist to a really serious penalty," Dunn said. Punishments include both monetary penalties and sanctions or probations, he said.

"The most effective tool that we have is the sanctions," Dunn said. Sanctions are always related to the specific violation and can be both punitive and preventive, he said.

Groups wishing to file an appeal must do so by this Tuesday, Dunn said. Living groups can appeal on the basis of cruel and unusual punishment, a biased trial, violation of due process, or new evidence, he said.

"I expect three houses, if not five, will appeal," Dunn said. However, he does not expect the appeals to be granted.

IFC, Panhel prosecute sororities

This was the first year in which sororities were investigated by the IFC for rush violations, Dunn said. Alpha Phi was fined $250 for Clearinghouse and overnight violations, and Sigma Kappa was penalized $150 for Clearinghouse violations.

"Sororities operate by such totally different rush rules they often forget they are a part of IFC and have to follow by IFC rush rules," Dunn said. "We just want to make it clear that in some cases there are rules that they do have to follow."

The sole Panhel rush charge, brought against Sigma Kappa by another sorority, was that sisters of Sigma Kappa were present at a fraternity party and interacted with freshmen women outside of the allowed time, Mallin said.

However, the charge did not go to a trial, Mallin said. Instead, the presidents, rush chairs, and advisers of both Sigma Kappa and the sorority that made the charge had a meeting earlier this month to resolve the situation, she said.

At the meeting, Sigma Kappa accepted guilt for the violations, Mallin said. The sorority was penalized with a social probation for one term that eliminates all mixers, Mallin said. However, the semi-formal party and "Late Night with Sigma Kappa" are not covered by the probation, she said.

"The rule is there pretty clearly so that men and alcohol are not used to influence rushees," Mallin said. "In this case it was more of a misunderstanding of the rules on Sigma Kappa's part" than a specific intent to break the rules, she said.

"If we hadn't come to a solution at that meeting we would have had to go to a trial," Mallin said. Panhel rush violation trials are presided over by the Panhel vice president with one voting delegate from each of the five MIT sororities, she said.

LCA cited for badmouthing

Sigma Alpha Epsilon filed five charges of badmouthing against LCA, according to documents provided by Dunn. LCA "ran a disgraceful rush in 1994 their violations were numerous and blatant," wrote SAE Rush Chairman David M. Sukoff '95 in a letter to Dunn. SAE also charged LCA with desk violations.

The charges specifically filed by Judcomm against LCA focused on signing out freshmen before their specified wakeup time. According to the Judcomm report, the LCA desk "was in utter disarray throughout most of rush." LCA was also charged with having as many as 14 freshmen returning late from a trip.

LCA pleaded guilty to all of the charges brought by Judcomm and received a penalty of $400. The fraternity was found guilty of SAE's charges of desk violations and was fined $600.

The fraternity was also found guilty of three of the five badmouthing charges brought by SAE, Dunn said. The badmouthing charges carried the maximum penalty of $500 each, he said. "Hiding a freshman or badmouthing are two of the worst things that you can do," Dunn said.

Several sanctions were levied against LCA as additional punishment for the violations. The fraternity will be on probation for next year's rush, which means a Judcomm investigator will be present at the house at all times, Dunn said.

Because of the desk violations, next year LCA must have two brothers working at the desk, and desk activity must be entered into Clearinghouse within 10 minutes rather than the standard 15 minutes, Dunn said.

AEPi withheld freshmen

AEPi was fined the second largest amount of $1,500 for three rush violations. Two of the charges stemmed from the failure of AEPi to produce freshmen to speak with members of other fraternities within 15 minutes.

AEPi had a comedian performing at the house on the Saturday night during rush. Members of Pi Lambda Phi called during the show to speak with several different freshmen at AEPi but were told that "the freshmen had specifically mentioned beforehand that messages be taken" and no messages could be delivered until after the show, which is a violation of IFC rules, according to a statement by Mark A. Herschberg '95, PLP rush chair.

Later that night, brothers from PLP and others arrived at the AEPi house to speak with several freshmen, but were told that some of the freshmen were unavailable because they were attending the comedy show, Herschberg wrote in the statement.

It took almost 45 minutes to finally procure the freshmen despite the 15-minute allowed time, Herschberg wrote.

Next year, AEPi will be required to maintain a sign-in sheet at the front desk so members of other fraternities looking for a freshman at AEPi can note the time of their request and the time that the freshman was procured, Dunn said.

AEPi will also be forbidden from having an in-house entertainment event, "such as a comedian, hypnotist, or non-musical performer" in 1995, Dunn said.

A third $500 fine was leveled for improper message taking, Dunn said.

Other violations

Along with LCA, AEPi, Alpha Phi, and Sigma Kappa, nine other living groups were found guilty of rush violations by IFC Judcomm.

Theta Delta Chi was found guilty of two counts of hiding freshmen and fined $100 for each. TDC failed to file a plea and was fined an additional $100.

Delta Tau Delta was fined $300 for failing to enter overnight stays and $150 for a charge by Alpha Tau Omega of talking to a freshman before rush began.

Pi Lambda Phi was fined $300 for failing to produce a freshman and $50 for not using the proper desk page. SAE was fined $50 for a violation at the freshman picnic.

Sigma Phi Epsilon failed to register a party and was penalized $50. SPE was also fined $500 for failing to register overnight guests and $100 for failing to submit a plea in a timely manner.

Phi Kappa Sigma and Zeta Psi were fined $300 and $200, respectively, for returning late from trips, Dunn said. A sanction that all trips must return by 11 p.m. on the Saturday night during rush was levied against ZP.

ADP was fined $50 for a desk violation, Dunn said. Chi Phi was found not guilty of any rush violation, but was fined $200 for failing to file a plea and arriving late to the trial, he said.