The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 48.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Chi Phi Faces New IFC Sanctions

Punishments May Reduce Success in 2002 Recruitment Period

By Kevin R. Lang


In response to a series of rush violations this year, the Interfraternity Council has levied additional sanctions against the Chi Phi fraternity, including a $1500 fine and restrictions on recruitment activities for 2002.

Under IFC Judicial Committee bylaws, fines must not exceed $500 per incident. Chi Phi was originally cited for multiple violations of rules regarding wake-up times and jaunts.

In addition, Chi Phi will not be allowed to mail their rush book to freshmen, and they will not be allowed to contact freshmen over the summer. Chi Phi will also be prohibited from hosting registered events before rush begins in the fall.

House President Isaac J. Dancy ’03 said that despite the fact that none of the sanctions would take effect during rush itself, “it would have a severe impact on our rush.”

“It seems really harsh in my opinion,” he said. “Freshmen couldn’t even theoretically know we existed.” Dancy said that Chi Phi relies heavily on their rush book to draw potential pledges.

IFC tried to negate any advantage

IFC President Rory P. Pheiffer ’02 said that the sanctions that were issued as a way to “level the playing field” for next year’s rush. “What occurred this past rush gave them an unfair advantage over other houses,” Pheiffer said.

Pheiffer admitted that the lack of summer contact “makes their recruitment more difficult.”

Vice President Bryan D. Schmid ’03, who served as facilitator for the executive review board, declined to comment.

Chi Phi to request appeal

The IFC’s executive review board issued the sanctions on September 21, but Chi Phi is still awaiting a hearing to ask for an appeal. “We haven’t had that hearing, but we should have it soon,” Dancy said.

If Chi Phi is granted the chance to appeal, they will ask Judicial Committee to reduce the sanctions. Dancy said that “$1500 is way out of left field” in relation to fines normally issued for rush violations. He expected the IFC to propose one or two punitive sanctions along with a “constructive solution” that would benefit other FSILGs. Since Chi Phi allegedly damaged rush for other houses, Dancy thought an appropriate sanction would be to host an event promoting other FSILGs, for example.

Chi Phi plans to appeal on the grounds that the sanctions represent “cruel and unusual punishment” as listed in the JudComm bylaws.

JudComm Chair Thomas B. Fisher ’02 could not be reached for comment.

Admins leave work to IFC

According to Dancy, Chi Phi had been planning to speak to Assistant Dean and Director for FSILGs David N. Rogers regarding the sanctions, but thought that Rogers might be involved in the appeals process.

Dancy also said that a Chi Phi brother spoke to Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict regarding the sanctions. While Benedict said that he had discussed the fine and was aware of Chi Phi’s effort to appeal, he said he was unaware of the summer contact and rush sanctions.

However, Benedict expressed concern over the possible impact of rush sanctions for 2002. “We enter a very unknown transition next year,” he said.

Dancy said that Chi Phi is currently focusing on the appeals process rather than on ways to successfully run rush next year despite the sanctions.

Violations ended rush early

Chi Phi’s first major violation of rush rules resulted from problems with wake up times. On two consecutive days, Chi Phi listed all freshman wake up times as 10 a.m., regardless of the actual time that each freshman gave to Chi Phi. This practice is illegal under IFC rules.

Chi Phi’s other major violations regarded jaunts, including a harbor cruise where freshmen returned late, and a jaunt to the activities midway where return times were not entered correctly.

As a result of this final jaunt violation, the IFC Rush Committee decided to close down Chi Phi’s rush. There had been complaints filed against Chi Phi by over 17 IFC member houses.