Panhell investigates KDE rush infractions

by Elise Waxenberg | 10/18/05 5:00am

Panhellenic Council officers have launched an investigation, they said, to determine whether members of Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority committed rush infractions last Thursday when they crashed Sigma Delta sorority's bid acceptance night and allegedly discussed offering two new Sigma Delt members open bids to KDE.

KDE Rush Chair Grace Crandall '06 and KDE members Raina Hammel '07, Nicola Korzenko '07 and Charlotte Taylor '07 also allegedly made phone calls to the two sophomores after they had already accepted bids to Sigma Delt.

Sororities can only offer open bids to women who either did not participate in the rush process or did not receive a bid from any organization, according to Panhell's rules.

"As far as I am aware, [the KDE members] did not in fact offer open bids but instead discussed them as a possibility, and this action was the crucial mistake they made," KDE President Edy Wilson '06 said. "These women were acting on misinformation combined with a misunderstanding of both KDE and Panhellenic bid rules."

Wilson said Korzenko's involvement was "minor compared to the others" and that the KDE members "strongly regret their actions and the subsequent ramifications."

Korzenko and Taylor declined to comment and Crandall and Hammel did not return requests for comment on their roles in the incident.

"Currently, myself and those involved are working in complete cooperation with the leadership [of] Sigma Delt to hold accountable those involved and rectify the situation in the most appropriate manner as soon as possible. All of those involved in this matter wish it to be resolved as soon as possible," Wilson said.

Sigma Delt President Christina Duncan declined to comment.

"Given the nature of the situation and to protect Sigma Delt, our new members and KDE, I cannot comment on this issue," Duncan said.

Both sophomores declined to comment on the situation.

Panhell executives were briefed on the situation in a closed meeting Monday night. Before the meeting, Panhell President Shannon Troutman '06 said she had temporarily stepped down as president during rush in order to participate in her own house's events and had no involvement with the details of the rush process.

"There is an investigation right now into some rush infractions, and I don't know the details," Troutman said. "I'm not supposed to, and I want to keep it that way."

Panhell Vice President for Recruitment Zobeida Torres '06, who was responsible for the sorority rush process, said Sigma Delt rush chairs first notified her of the incident soon before 10 p.m. last Thursday.

"It's kind of weird," Torres said. "I don't think it's happened before."

Torres said that she will meet with Megan Johnson, assistant director of coed, fraternity and sorority administration, to plan a course of action.

"All I can say right now is that we're working on it," Torres said.

Kristen Wong '06, Panhell's vice president of organization, handles judicial affairs for the organization but said she was not yet familiar with the details of the episode.

"We haven't decided if it will be an infraction or not," Wong said.

Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman said that he had not heard about the bid incident, but it "sounds like a pretty big issue if in fact that's what happened."

Once explained, most potential rush infractions turn out to be minor, he said, as students rarely try to "undermine" the sorority recruitment system.

"National Panhellenic has umpteen zillion rules -- it's a very structured process," Redman said.

Redman acknowledged that most of Panhell's officers have never handled a rush violation issue, which makes it more difficult for them to navigate the complicated rush rules set by the National Panhellenic Council.

"We'll probably be part of whatever the remedy is, if in fact there needs to be some sort of remedy," Redman said.

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