Three fraternities’ GW chapters recently were reprimanded by the Interfraternity Council’s hearing board for violations of rush policies, the IFC announced Tuesday.
Beta Theta Pi has been placed on social probation because it was in violation of University and IFC policies, IFC President Neil Smith said. Smith said the fraternity held an illegal event because freshmen were present at a party before rush began.
Beta Theta Pi President Tim Kovacs said freshmen did attend the party at his house, but the event was not rush-related. He explained that the incident occurred before rush began, and he said the gathering could not be linked to rush.
However, Tracie Anzaldi, coordinator for Greek affairs and spirit events, said the chapter violated rush rules.
“They had alcohol at an event that was prior to rush even starting,” she said. “They’re never allowed to have alcohol at a party pre-rush, especially not at an unregistered function.”
Kovacs refused to comment on whether alcohol had been served.
Because the function was unregistered, Beta Theta Pi also was brought up on charges by the University. The chapter violated University and IFC rules, which may be a contributing factor in the severity of the consequences, Anzaldi said.
Because Beta Theta Pi is on social probation, it will not be allowed to organize social functions through the end of the year, Kovacs said.
“I understand where the hearing board is coming from,” Kovacs said. “Still, I don’t like it. It’s an awkward situation.”
When a fraternity violates IFC policy, the organization is brought before a hearing board. If a fraternity is in violation of University policy as well, it also is accountable to GW, Anzaldi said.
Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Alpha Mu fraternities also were brought before the IFC hearing board for pre-rush violations.
Jeff Butler, Delta Tau Delta president, said the chapter was issued “nothing more than a warning.”
“Fraternities are not allowed to have functions where there is the potential of freshmen being there,” Butler said.
Anzaldi agreed that freshmen are not supposed to interact with members of fraternities before rush.
She said “absolutely, positively no alcohol was served” at the Delta Tau Delta party.
Butler said Aug. 22 that members of Delta Tau Delta had entertained freshman members of the water polo team in the fraternity’s house. He said athletic team members should spend time together and such activities should be encouraged.
Butler said students who attended a Sigma Alpha Epsilon party the same evening wandered outside the Delta Tau Delta house. He said no freshmen from that party were allowed in the house. Smith, who visited the house that night, said he saw freshmen there. Butler said the brothers had no intention or reason to hide the fact that freshman members of the water polo team were at the house.
“I don’t think it matters that (freshman members of the water polo team) were here,” Butler said.
Anzaldi said a vote may be taken later this year to allow fraternities to interact with freshmen under certain circumstances.
In addition, a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity contacted a freshman to encourage him to rush, Anzaldi said.
Sigma Alpha Mu pleaded guilty to violating IFC policy. But Anzaldi said fraternity members told the hearing board they were unaware of the “no contact” rule before being charged.
“It was an accidental incident when a brother took it upon himself to promote the (Greek-letter) community and inadvertently promoted our fraternity,” said David Weinshel, president of GW’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu.
As a result, the fraternity is “putting together a program that is specific to rush,” Anzaldi said. The program should be designed to educate fraternity members and rushees about IFC policy, she said.