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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

OAC puts 3 houses on probation

A recent spate of one-on-one hearings with Assistant Dean of the College Mary Liscinsky has resulted in social probation for Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the Panarchy undergraduate society.

Theta Delt is on probation until Nov. 12 for possessing an unregistered beer keg, and Panarchy's probation lasts until Dec. 11 for failing to register a party during Summer term.

SAE has been put on probation indefinitely for providing alcohol to a minor during Summer term and Freshman Orientation.

During the terms of their probation, the houses will not be able to hold social events or serve alcohol in social spaces.

Although three of the four violations occurred during Summer term, the Office of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs did not release the outcomes of the hearings until late last week, and administrators were not forthcoming on the details of the sentencing process.

The houses' presidents did not dispute the fairness of their punishments, but they bemoaned the inefficiency of the adjudication processes .

"The fact that it took two and half months to give us punishment is just ridiculous," Theta Delt President Paul Schmitt '03 said. "You can indict someone for murder in less than two and a half months."

April Thompson, assistant director of UJA, said that the lapse of time between the incidents and hearings could be due to the problem of continuing the investigations over interim, when most students are not on campus. "When a term changes, students can be very difficult to get in touch with," Thompson said.

She said, however, that two months "sounds like a long time."

Schmitt said that doling out the probation a term after the violations took place means that senior Theta Delt members will be punished for mistakes made while they were not even on campus.

Panarchy President Christopher Smith '03 agreed that the punishments were unnecessarily long in coming, but said that he does not mind taking responsibility for the sophomores' actions.

"I'm just glad the '04s had a good time this summer," he said. "The house has to take responsibility for these things."

SAE will remain on probation until it demonstrates to the Office of Residential Life and UJA a satisfactory plan to educate its members about "proper risk-management practices" and to educate alumni about "the organization's responsibilities" regarding alcohol, according to a UJA bulletin.

SAE President Jonathan Kartt '03 did not respond to requests for an interview.

Schmitt attributed Theta Delt's relatively short probation period, which includes a provision allowing the fraternity to hold its traditional Homecoming Pig Roast, to "putting up really good arguments for why what happened shouldn't have happened."

What happened, Schmitt said, was that during Summer term, fraternity alumni en route to Hanover telephoned sophomore Theta Delt members to say that they were stuck in traffic and needed the '04s to purchase a keg of beer. The alumni consumed the contents of the keg off campus and returned it to Theta Delt to dispose of.

Safety and Security Officers apprehended the sophomores as they were unloading the keg shell, Schmitt said.

Nevertheless, Schmitt acknowledged responsibility for Theta Delt's actions.

"This was just poor judgment on the part of our organization. It wasn't the fault of the alums," he said.

Instances in which alumni contribute to violations are an ongoing problem, but ultimately current members are "responsible for what goes on within the house," Thompson said.

Panarchy received its alcohol violation --the first since its 1993 inception -- for failing to register its Summer term "Great Gatsby" party. Safety and Security requires the registration of all parties with more than 35 people. Well over 100 people were in attendance, Smith said.

Although Panarchy holds its Gatsby party every term, it has never registered the event before, operating on the assumption that Safety and Security would not patrol a house so far from the center of campus.

Ultimately, though, Panarchy's punishment is not affecting its social schedule, Smith said, mostly because Panarchy only has one big alcoholic event per term, and the punishment did not go into effect until after the party had taken place.

"We scheduled this term's Gatsby party in the middle of the adjudication process," he said. "I met with Dean Liscinsky at 3 p.m. on a Friday and we held the party literally six hours later. I don't think the Dean was too thrilled -- she thought we weren't showing enough respect for the process."

Thompson said that the sort of punishments houses receive could vary widely depending on how convincing house officers are during the hearings. "Organizations can speak very personally," Thompson said.

Nevertheless, Panarchy made sure to register the party and to limit all drinking to private rooms, Smith added.

In contrast, Schmitt said that Theta Delt not being able to hold parties puts a damper on the mood of the house.

"Theta Delt's a really social house and we enjoy having our parties," he said.