College decides to wait on Beta decision

by Erik Tanouye | 11/27/96 6:00am

The College will officially announce its decision regarding the fate of Beta Theta Pi fraternity pending a reconsideration of Dean of Residential Life Mary Turco's decision.

"Our posture is that we would prefer not to make public announcements until there's been a full resolution of the matter," Dean of the College Lee Pelton said. "I think that's been the practice of the dean's office."

Jack Burnett '71, president of the board of trustees of Beta's Dartmouth Chapter, last week told The Dartmouth that the College has derecognized Beta.

"For the house to be derecognized is a serious measure," Burnett said last week. "It's as serious as it can get."

The College investigated Beta this term for violating the full social restrictions the College imposed on it Summer term. The Coed Fraternity Sorority Judicial Council held a hearing following the College's investigation.

The College has yet to officially announce the Turco's decision, which is based on a recommendation by the CFSJC.

Turco could not be reached for comment.

"Dean Turco ... has, in fact, levied a sanction," Pelton said. "Now the house has an opportunity to ask that the sanction be reconsidered" on the basis of either new evidence or a request for clemency.

"The decision will be announced as soon as Dean Turco has an opportunity to respond to a [request for] reconsideration by the undergraduate members of Beta," Pelton continued.

Although Pelton is not sure if Beta requested a reconsideration, he said if they had not, the Turco's decision would have been released already.

Pelton said Beta had seven days to request a reconsideration of the Nov. 18 decision, which means Beta would have to had requested one by last Monday.

"The College has been in contact with members of their alumni corporation to discuss the [current] process and the future," Pelton said.

Burnett declined to comment last night on the matter.

Pelton said Turco would most likely attempt to respond to any requests for reconsideration as quickly as possible.

"There would naturally be concern about what occurred and the College's response and what the future holds for the current undergraduate members of Beta Theta Pi," Pelton said.

This sanction marks the 5th major controversy Beta has been involved in since 1991.

The summer sanctions were levied in response to a June incident when a Beta brother tackled a Sigma Nu fraternity brother on the lawn of The Tabard coed fraternity. Other Beta brothers nearby shouted racist and homophobic epithets and threats at a Tabard member.

This action follows a three-term derecognition of Beta in 1991 for the abduction and tormenting of a Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity brother, a one-year suspension in 1994 for a hazing incident and a 1995 condemnation resulting from the discovery of a racist and sexist poem allegedly read at one of Beta's weekly meetings.

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