Campus reacts to AD derecognition

by Parker Richards | 4/14/15 8:48pm

Following the derecognition of Alpha Delta fraternity, numerous Greek leaders and various students expressed reticence to comment on the decision while national media outlets picked up the news.

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence confirmed that AD had been derecognized on Monday afternoon following allegations that the fraternity branded new members. The branding allegations, which followed a string of other violations that College spokesperson Justin Anderson said included hazing, serving alcohol to minors and hosting unregistered parties, caused the College to extend its suspension of AD indefinitely until disciplinary proceedings could be resolved.

The Dartmouth Organizational Adjudication Committee determined AD to be in violation of the College’s code of conduct on Monday and moved to derecognize the house, effective April 20. AD will have one week to appeal the decision and plans to, AD fraternity alumni advisor John Engelman ’68 said on Monday.

Panhellenic Council president Jordyn Turner ’16 wrote in an email that Panhell remains committed to discouraging hazing in both sororities and the larger Greek community, but was unavailable to comment further.

Inter-Fraternity Council president Chase Gilmore ’16, also a member of AD, and IFC communications chair James Verhagen ’16 were also unable to provide a comment by press time.

Beta Alpha Omega fraternity president Joe Geller ’16 wrote in an email that AD’s derecognition will not substantially impact Beta’s operations, social or otherwise.

“We may see more traffic, but it will not change our internal management plan because we feel we do a very good job with that already,” he wrote. “We will continue to do what we have been doing.”

Despite predominantly supportive posts for AD on the anonymous forums Yik Yak and Bored at Baker, students interviewed expressed mixed opinions about the house’s derecognition.

Of the approximately 40 students approached by The Dartmouth’s staff, only five agreed to be interviewed for this article.

Some students said they were surprised that the College derecognized the fraternity, with some citing College President Phil Hanlon’s membership in the house.

“This is the beginning of the end,” Timothy Messen ’18 said. ”If they can get AD, which is Hanlon’s place of fraternization, they can get any of us.”

Outside national media attention, as the story has already been covered by several major national outlets, was also speculated to have been a factor in the OAC’s decision.

“I think it’s mainly for the media that it was derecognized,” Rafananda Tejada ’18 said. “[Hanlon] wants positive media attention.”

Messen said that he thought AD’s derecognition might signal a push by the College to eventually eliminate more Greek houses, but said he was not especially concerned with AD’s derecognition as an isolated event.

Messen said that he did not have “much sympathy” for the brothers of AD, and he described the situation as “the man taking down the slightly less mature, more drunk version of the man.”

Devina Kumar ’18 and Rachel Porth ’16 both expressed opposition to the derecognition, with Kumar citing the allegedly voluntary nature of the branding procedures and Porth expressing sympathy with AD’s members.

“I was kind of sad for the members who, I don’t know if all of them did whatever it was that they did to get derecognized, but I feel bad that they now all have to move out,” Porth said.

Economics professor Bruce Sacerdote ’90 wrote in an email that Hanlon and other administrators are “very serious” about the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy changes and said that AD’s derecognition was reflective of that.

“I don’t know whether AD will be allowed to recolonize in a number of years hence,” he wrote.

Colonizing is a process by which a Greek organization becomes re-recognized.

Sacerdote wrote that he is primarily concerned with the safety for Dartmouth students and the prevention of sexual assault. Like several students interviewed, he expressed displeasure with Dartmouth’s media profile, which he called false and unfair.

In addition to its troubles with the College, AD is also currently the subject of a police investigation that has been ongoing since December, Hanover Chief of Police Charlie Dennis said Monday.

The presidents of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta sorority both declined to comment. All other Greek House presidents did not respond for a request to comment by press time.

Student Assembly President Casey Dennis ’15 also declined to comment.

Noah Goldstein contributed reporting. Geller is a former member of The Dartmouth opinion staff.

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