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Old 04-28-2005, 05:55 PM
TerryHepner TerryHepner is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 21
NIC takes stand against Deferred Recruitment at CU

Here are three articles from today about the issue of whether a University has the ability to infinge on their student's and orgination's right of association. Good to see that the NIC is doing what they were organized to do, fight for the best interest of our national fraternities.

Colorado Daily
University of Colorado
April 28, 2005

Fraternities say no

By JOSEPH THOMAS Colorado Daily Staff

CU-Boulder fraternities did not rush into their decision remove their affiliation with the University.

After months of discussion, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) announced Wednesday the 16 fraternities within CU-Boulder mutually agreed to reject the new registered fraternal organization agreement proposed by CU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ron Stump.

The talks broke down at the subject of deferred rush. Prompted by the death of CU freshman Gordie Bailey, who died of alcohol poisoning in the Chi Psi house in September of 2004, CU late last semester introduced the idea of deferring Greek rush until the spring semester.

"We proposed what we called a delayed rush as a compromise, meaning it would still take place in the first semester, but it wouldn't take place in the first day or the first week he was there," Jon Williamson, executive vice-president for the NIC, told the Colorado Daily Wednesday. "The only thing the university was saying was, 'No.' 'No earlier than second semester, and by the way if you don't agree with this, you will lose basic services.'"

The NIC said it was willing to compromise with the University on all points, but the university would not budge on its stance on deferred rush.

"The deferred rush is very important to CU," said Stump. "One part because it is deterring the drinking culture, the other part is because students are literally rushed into making choices about which fraternity to join, if a fraternity at all."

Deferred rush is not an unprecedented decision. Stump said that 20 to 30 percent of other campuses nationwide have some sort of deferred rush.

"I don't see the NIC in any way contesting them over a similar kind of expectation," said Stump.

After consultations with their national and international chapters, the fraternities concluded fall rush was too important to lose.

"The fraternities, after a lot of discussion, say that it is denying a
basic right of human beings to associate and be apart of an organization of which there is mutual interest," said Williamson.

None of the current fraternities will close. Furthermore, they will
continue to be recognized by their national and international organizations.

CU sororities agreed to the changes last semester.

Also, the fraternities will also have to adhere to the NIC-mandated policy changes implemented in April 2004, which included a minimum GPA, alcohol-free recruiting, and more stringent risk-management policies.

"I applaud what they have done with the policy changes," said Stump. "I hope they have some impact. Certainly, we did not see it this current year."

Both parties said that they would be open to discussions in the future regarding the state of fraternities at CU.

Rocky Mountain News
April 28, 2005

CU frats reject spring rush idea

By Berny Morson, Rocky Mountain News

BOULDER - University of Colorado fraternities said Wednesday that they have rejected a request to move recruiting from the fall to the spring semester, a decision that essentially severs their ties to the school.

The delay is one of several steps that CU administrators are seeking to quell the hard partying that cost the life of a freshman last fall.

Vice Chancellor Ron Stump said that refusal to sign the recruiting
agreement means that the 16 fraternities will lose campus privileges, such as the use of athletic fields and meeting rooms.

They will also lose access to academic information about fraternity
members, such as grade point averages.

"It's disappointing, but not surprising," Stump said.

He said that the fraternities have refused even to speak with him,
deferring all communication to the Indianapolis-based North American Interfraternity Council.

"It's frustrating," Stump said.

Sororities signed the agreement earlier this year.

NIC executive vice president Jon Williamson said the fraternities rejected the spring rush idea on the grounds that it is an infringement on their freedom of association.

"We will not give up a basic right and let you (the university) set up a time frame you consider appropriate," Williamson said.

No other club or social activity is restricted from recruiting during the fall semester, he said.

Fraternities and sororities traditionally recruit members from among arriving freshmen in a ritual called "rush."

The proposal to move rush to the spring semester came after freshman Lynn Gordon "Gordie" Bailey, 18, died of alcohol poisoning after a Chi Psi initiation rite Sept. 16.

CU officials reasoned that a later rush would give freshmen one semester to grow accustomed to campus life before pledging a fraternity. Some of the freshmen might develop other friendships and interests in the meantime and not feel compelled to join the Greek-letter groups, officials said at the time.

Five Chi Psi members were given one-year deferred sentences this week in connection with Bailey's death, for providing alcohol to a minor.

The Chi Psi chapter has been closed by the fraternity's national board.

In court documents released this week, Boulder prosecutors estimated that Bailey consumed between 31 and 36 ounces of 80-proof whiskey during the 30-minute rite.

But the document also said that no one forced him to drink and that some of the pledges refrained.

The document blamed Chi Psi's "institutional culture" for the death.

Williamson said that moving rush to spring is unfair to other fraternities that did not have alcohol incidents.

"You're punishing an entire group of people, the overwhelming majority of whom never did anything wrong," Williamson said. "Help me understand what is the educational lesson there."

Williamson said he is willing to negotiate with Stump.

He said the NIC is handling negotiations for the Boulder fraternities because the group is a "trade organization" that represents the nation's 800 campus fraternity chapters.

"The purpose of a trade association is to speak with one voice," Williamson said.

Stump said he can't recall any previous instance in which a CU student group refused to speak to campus officials.

"I'm disappointed, after all that happened last fall," Stump said.

Calls to the Boulder campus Interfraternity Council Office were not returned.

Stump said that other universities have gone to a spring rush without a decline in fraternity membership.

CU is also demanding that fraternity and sorority houses employ resident advisors.

Williamson said that some fraternities don't have houses, and that others can't afford to pay an advisor or don't have additional space in their houses.

Those that can afford advisors and have room for them don't oppose that demand, he said.


CU Inter-Fraternity Council members:

Alpha Gamma Omega
Alpha Phi Delta
Delta Chi
Kappa Alpha
Lambda Chi Alpha
Phi Kappa Psi
Phi Kappa Tau
Pi Kappa Alpha
Pi Kappa Phi
Sigma Nu
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Sigma Pi
Tau Kappa Epsilon
Theta Xi
Zeta Beta Tau

Source: University of Colorado

Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

Daily Camera
Boulder CO
April 28, 2005

Frats reject CU plan

Decision will cost organizations access to campus amenities

By Ryan Morgan, Camera Staff Writer

The University of Colorado's 16 fraternities have rejected a set of
requirements the school has asked each Greek organization to sign, its leaders announced Wednesday.

That means CU won't officially recognize the fraternities next year.

The Registered Fraternal Organization Agreement was drawn up in the wake of the alcohol-related death of Chi Psi pledge Lynn Gordon "Gordie" Bailey Jr. last semester and is aimed at keeping students from drinking irresponsibly.

John Williamson, the executive vice president of the North American Interfraternity Conference, which represents CU's fraternities, said his group and the administration share the same goals.

"We agree on almost everything," Williamson said Wednesday. "That's the most disappointing thing about this."

But the document CU wanted the fraternities to sign had two sticking points, Williamson said. It would require fraternities to have live-in advisers, which would be a financial challenge for some groups, he said.

More importantly, the document would have delayed the traditional fall rush, the period in which fraternities sign up new pledges, until the spring, Williamson said.

He said it isn't fair to let every other social group sign members up
during the fall semester while telling people who want to join fraternities that they have to wait.

"Let's say you've got a 22-year-old individual who's just been discharged from the Marines or the Army or the Navy," Williamson said. "You're going to tell that Marine, who's just finished fighting for you in Afghanistan or Iraq, 'You can join any organization on campus, you can play on any sports team, but whatever you do, don't go near the fraternity.'"

But CU Vice Chancellor Ron Stump said delaying rush until the spring makes sense. Students who wait a few months are much more likely to have a better sense of which organization they want to join, he said.

"The way it is now, you are literally being rushed into making a decision," he said. "By having a semester under their belt, if something comes up during that rush program that they feel is going to be harmful for them, they have the ability to step back and say, 'I have other things I can do.'

"It gives them a little more maturity, which is pretty huge when you're a freshman."

That logic applies to veterans as well, Stump said.

"I'm not sure how many former Marines are going to want to join a fraternity with 18-year-old freshmen," he said. "I think that a Marine would have the self-discipline to understand that if I have to wait for something that's good for me, I can wait. That's what they're taught."

The fraternities' refusal to sign the document means they'll lose their access to amenities CU has typically provided, Stump said. Those include space on campus, the use of athletic fields, access to academic information and the services of the school's Greek liaison officer.

Williamson said he hopes his organization and the CU administration can still reach an agreement. Stump said that's a possibility _ within limits.

"We're not going to wait until the fall semester, after they've done rush, and have them say, 'OK, we're ready to sign the agreement,'" he said.

Boulder sororities have told CU's Greek Affairs Office that they will sign the agreement.
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