Alpha Delta fraternity derecognized, will appeal

by Parker Richards | 4/13/15 9:31pm

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Alpha Delta fraternity was derecognized by the College in relation to incidents of branding.
by Natalie Cantave / The Dartmouth

The College has derecognized Alpha Delta fraternity as a student organization, effective April 20, College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email. The decision was related to the branding of new members last fall, when the fraternity was already under suspension.

Allegations of branding were first reported by national news outlets in late March, prompting the College confirm its extension of the fraternity’s suspension, which was due to expire this term. College spokesperson Justin Anderson highlighted a three-year history of disciplinary violations — including hazing, serving alcohol to minors and hosting unregistered parties — along with the announcement of the extension, while AD attorney George Ostler labeled the branding “self-expression” and denied that it constituted hazing. The fraternity’s suspension began last September in relation to incidents during the winter and spring of 2014.

The Dartmouth Organizational Adjudication Committee determined AD to be in violation of the College’s code of conduct. AD was notified of the derecognition on Monday and has one week to appeal, Lawrence wrote. AD fraternity alumni advisor John Engelman ’68 said that the fraternity will be appealing the decision.

“I don’t want to speculate on whether the appeal will be successful or not,” Engelman said.

AD president Ryan Maguire ’16 wrote in an email that the fraternity is “disappointed” by the decision and is exploring other available options, including the appeal process. Ostler declined to comment.

Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer — acting under authority given to the Dean of the College by Greek Letter Organizations and Societies policy — is independently reviewing the same evidence from the OAC hearing to determine if it is “in the best interest of the Dartmouth College community” to derecognize the fraternity, independent of the outcome of any OAC appeal process, Lawrence wrote.

Privileges of GLOS-recognized organizations include the potential to receive College-approved residential status and the ability to accommodate students in compliance with town ordinances, host and register social events with alcohol, recruit other students, request funding from College sources and organize with other Greek organizations to address issues of common interest or organize inter-organizational events, according to the GLOS handbook. Additionally, AD will no longer be policed by College Safety and Security. Derecognition implies a loss of these privileges, among others.

Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis said that there has been an open and ongoing investigation into the fraternity since last December “to see if a crime occurred or not.” Dennis said that the derecognition by the College plays no role in the investigation, and that the department hopes to conclude the investigation within the next 60 to 90 days.

AD will not attempt to continue off-campus, Engelman said.

“There is no talk along those lines, and it probably couldn’t happen even if we thought it was a reasonable idea,” he said. “There are probably too many problems, I think, associated with that.”

Engelman said, however, that the alumni corporation, which owns AD’s house and the property on which it is situated, has no intention of yielding or selling the property to the College. Engelman also said that the alumni corporation is debt-free and has “a substantial amount of money” invested.

“There’s no contemplation of selling the house or turning it over to the College,” he said.

Hanover zoning bylaws prevent more than three non-related people to simultaneously reside in a house in areas not zoned under “institution” zoning. While affiliated with the College, AD maintained “institution” zoning.

Fraternity derecognition is not unprecedented in the College’s history. Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, Beta Theta Pi — now known as Beta Alpha Omega — fraternity and Zeta Psi fraternity have all been derecognized for periods of, in some cases, more than a decade before eventual reinstatement.

The College derecognized Beta in 1996 after multiple incidents, including a violation of the fraternity’s suspension in the summer of 1996. The derecognition was termed permanent at the time and followed multiple periods of probation, including the closing of the fraternity for a year in 1994 after incidents of hazing, disorderly conduct and violating College alcohol policy. In 2008, it returned to campus as the local fraternity Beta Alpha Omega, operating initially during a trial period.

The College derecognized Phi Delta Alpha fraternity indefinitely in 2000, with the decision lasting until at least the fall of 2002, following allegations that the fraternity allowed a student to rush during his freshman year, served underage students alcohol, allowed drug use, gave the College false information and used peer pressure and coercion during pledge term, as well as a failure to take internal action after four members of the fraternity set curtains and a table on fire and stole a refrigerator at Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity. The College re-recognized Phi Delt in 2004.

During its period of derecognition, Phi Delt — which owns its house — leased the space to graduate students for housing purposes.

The College derecognized Zeta Psi fraternity in 2001 after the publication of “sex papers,” which circulated within the house and detailed the sexual exploits of members. Deemed a permanent derecognition at the time, Zete was later re-recognized formally in 2011 after two years existing as a colony organization, part of the two-year process for College re-recognition.

Zete continued to operate outside of the official authority of the College for at least part of the period during which it was derecognized. The fraternity recruited new members from the beginning of its period of derecognition. At one party, more than 50 students filled the fraternity’s basement.

The College overturned the derecognition of Chi Heorot fraternity in 2001 following an appeal by the fraternity, instead enforcing three terms of social restrictions when the fraternity did not meet two minimum standards after a winter review.

Like Beta, AD was on probation for an extended period before its suspension began in the fall. AD was on probation for nine of the 12 terms before its suspension began, and has currently been suspended for more than two terms.

Currently, the house plans to appeal the College’s decision, but Engelman would not offer further comment on the matter or the house’s future plans.

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