Since the conclusion of the Phi Beta Epsilon (PBE) judicial process, we have heard many concerns regarding the procedures used by the Interfraternity Council (IFC). It greatly surprises us that members of our community are worried by a process that was agreed upon by every one of the member fraternities of the IFC, but we do take these concerns seriously and want to do our best to allay them.
The primary accusation seems to be that the processes used to investigate PBE and suspend them from the IFC were unfair or otherwise “flawed”. We would like to lay these accusations to rest, with a series of simple facts about what occurred.
1. Substantial evidence of hazing occurring at PBE was provided to the IFC executive board.
2. PBE requested and was granted an expedited judicial process so that a decision could be reached quickly. They voluntarily waived their right to a 7-day waiting period before a judicial hearing could occur.
3. PBE did not make any attempt to dispute the evidence presented. Instead, they confirmed it as accurate and claimed that it did not constitute hazing.
4. Several of the activities described in the evidence are explicitly enumerated in Massachusetts State Law as examples of hazing. Therefore, the activities described were, without question, hazing.
5. The IFC Judicial Board that reviewed PBE’s case unanimously found PBE responsible for the hazing activities.
6. MIT has a zero-tolerance policy toward hazing. A four-year suspension is not only justified, but a minimal sanction given the infractions.
7. All of the procedures used, except for those voluntarily waived by PBE, are outlined in our Constitution and Judicial Bylaws. They have been publicly available on the IFC website for several years, and every member fraternity agrees to them prior to becoming a member of the IFC.
The primary concern of the IFC is strength and overall health of a member of the fraternity community. It would be contrary to our goals to condemn any of our member fraternities without strong, unbiased evidence that the organization was violating the values that the community strives to uphold. The IFC is not “out to get” any of our own (despite baseless accusations claiming otherwise). However, failing to act in the face of these clear and definite violations would be grossly irresponsible on the part of the IFC.
It has come to our attention that much of the public concern about this process is a result of the lack of information from the IFC about the specific allegations and charges of this case. The IFC Executive Board members have gone to great lengths to respect the privacy of PBE’s organizational traditions and rituals, including details about the hazing activities. Our silence should not be misinterpreted as uncertainty or hesitancy about this case — on the contrary, we are convinced that the Judicial Committee came to the correct decision. The actions taken by members of PBE endangered the mental and physical well-being of their new members.
The IFC Executive Board will not be releasing any further details surrounding this case. Additionally, we will not be engaging in any further public discussion in this regard. If any active member or alumni of any of our member chapters feels that the community processes need revision, we encourage him to contact the chapter’s current president. Any member of the Presidents’ Council can initiate a change of the IFC’s policies and/or procedures.
The IFC Exec board is composed of: Ryan Schoen, President; Clark Minor, Vice President; Garrett Fritz, Judicial Committee Chair; Spencer Parra, Programming and Recruitment Chair; Tim Stumbaugh, Public Relations Chair; Ian Matts, Risk Manager; Ben Harvatine, Executive Assistant