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Old 01-24-2003, 01:01 PM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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Chi Phi gives up at GA Tech, gone 'til '04

Tech, Chi Phi reach long awaited agreement

By Tony Kluemper
News Editor
January 17, 2003


Chi Phi, which was suspended last spring, agreed to accept the IFC sanctions late last semester. The fraternity could return to campus in 2004.

After a semester worth of discussions that often ended in a dead lock, Tech administration and Chi Phi fraternity have finally reached an agreement. The resolution occurred just after the end of fall semester when the Chi Phi alumni board decided to accept the sanctions issued by the Interfraternity Council and the administration.

The sanctions, which were issued against the fraternity late last spring and included ceasing fraternity operations until fall 2004, were resisted by the alumni board throughout fall semester.

In fact, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Lee Wilcox, numerous talks between the administration and the alumni board had been held since last April. However, Wilcox had almost reached the conclusion that no agreement would be made in the near future due to a decision made by the board in early December.

"It appeared that we weren't going to make it [an agreement] happen because they officially said 'no we are not going to accept the suspension,'" said Wilcox. "They were going to proceed to stay in the house and ignore the IFC sanctions."

This decision by Chi Phi prompted Wilcox and President Clough to send a letter to every Tech Chi Phi alumni expressing their concern over the situation.

"We reported that this had happened, how sad we were about it and that it wasn't the right path for Chi Phi to take in order to return to campus," said Wilcox.

This letter may have had a direct impact on the decision to accept the suspension as a meeting of the alumni board was held Dec. 4, where they decided to accept the sanctions with only one condition.

"They decided that they would accept the suspension if we gave a little bit on the timing, which we were willing to do because we really wanted Chi Phi to be able to come back," said Wilcox.

Under this compromise Chi Phi will be able to return to campus in the Fall of 2004, which is only one year and a half instead of the two year suspension recommended by the IFC judicial board last spring.

Although it somewhat reduced the punishments received by Chi Phi, Wilcox felt that the decision was a wise one.

"We just felt that since they [Chi Phi] were willing to proceed with the sanctions as originally intended, except for the two years, that we would go along with it," said Wilcox. There are many speculations about what made Chi Phi accept the sanctions at this time. Greek coordinator Buck Cooke felt it had to do with other alumni becoming involved.

"As I understand it, some of their alumni thought about it more," said Cooke. "They basically realized that it wasn't necessarily the right direction to be going in."

Once the decision was made to accept the sanctions, Wilcox notified the current brothers of the situation and the fact that they would need to vacate the house by the beginning of this semester.

Under the sanctions, Chi Phi must move out of the house and seize chapter operations entirely for the period. Cooke commented that the fraternity could hold no fraternity events even if they are off campus.

"Just moving off campus and having a house somewhere else and still having a chapter would be in violation," said Cooke.

According to Wilcox, although Chi Phi received a shortened suspension, there were some additional sanctions added to the original ones recommended last spring.

"For Fall 2004 the chapter would be on social probation and they can have no alcohol in the house for that semester," said Wilcox.

Now that a resolution has been reached, Wilcox feels that the issue has helped show Tech's support of the Greek community without appearing as pushovers. "I think what this showed the Greek community was that Georgia Tech is willing to stand behind the IFC system."
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