Rush Violation Trials Delayed Past Previous Years' DeadlinesBy Douglas E. Heimburger
Editor in Chief
Although over two months have passed, the Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee has yet to conduct any trials for rush violations committed during Orientation.
Judcomm chair Katherine A. Hardacre '99 declined to comment on why the trials were occurring later this year. During the past several years, Judcomm had finished the trials by the middle of October.
The rush chair for the Women's Independent Living group, however, said that miscommunication was to blame for many of the delays. "The situation wasn't made clear as to what the protocol was" once initial charges were filed, said Julia E. Preston '00. Additionally, some deadlines were not well-known.
"I think that there is just some miscommunication that went on," she said.
In addition to delays in trial dates, it appears many charges filed during rush are being dropped.
This year, due to the tensions surrounding the modified rush, houses filed significantly more violations than normal, according to IFCPresident Duane H. Dreger '99.
However, most of the violations involved relatively minor incidents, Dreger said. "In the middle of rush, when tensions are high, rush chairs file anything,"especially this year, when tensions were higher than normal. Some violations included fraternities presenting freshmen slightly past deadline, according to Dreger. "We're talking about two or three second"violations, he said.
After rush, many houses had second thoughts about following through on many of the violations, Dreger said. "Does the house want to go through the trouble of going to trial?"
Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Student Life Programs Neal H. Dorow, who serves as adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, said, "It doesn't seem that we have the same scale of violations" as in previous years. "People aren't as mad after rush."
Although many of the violations never end up getting prosecuted, Dreger said that Judcomm would take over prosecuting any "serious" violations even if the initial house chooses to drop the charge. "It's only on the minor cases that a house will normally prosecute themselves."
In addition, many charges brought on by Judcomm itself were dealt with through Executive Review, which is a "plea bargaining process,"Dreger said. In this event, when a house doesn't dispute the facts, the IFCExecutive Committee essentially sets the punishment in a closed forum. Most cases handled under Executive Review involve violations of the Clearinghouse system which tracks freshmen during rush.
Full trials are generally open to the public, and their results are released to the public.
Hardacre declined to comment on how many complaints were initially filed, and how many had been resolved to date.
Houses report few violations
Officials in fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups yesterday reported few violations pending.
Phi Beta Epsilon currently has a "very minor violation"pending against it, said President Michael W. Li '99. "If we had one [against the prosecuting house], we might have pursued that."
Beta Theta Pi Rush Chair Robert N. Tunick said, "I get the impression that a lot of the serious violations weren't pressed," adding that another fraternity decided not to prosecute Beta upon hearing that Beta wasn't planning to press any charges against it.
Brett Altschul and Susan Buchman contributed to the reporting of this story.