Fate of IFC president’s removal rests in bylaws, constitution and semantics

This report was written by Hatchet editors Lauren French and Madeleine Morgenstern.

As some fraternity presidents look to remove Interfraternity Council President Bill Hulse from office tonight, his fraternity’s status with the University may play a role in how easily Hulse could be removed from office.

Pi Kappa Phi is under social sanctions with their national fraternity, but remains fully recognized by the University and retains full fraternity rights and standing. The largest restriction stemming from the sanctions is that the fraternity is not allowed to serve alcohol at their events.

The issue of Pi Kappa Phi probation only arose last week when presidents of Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha looked to strip Hulse of his title.

The fraternity presidents looking to remove Hulse may claim that because Hulse allegedly did not inform the IFC of his fraternity’s social probation, that puts him in questionable standing with the council. They could also claim that the chapter’s social probation could put it on “probationary membership with the IFC.”

“Bill did not disclose the fact that his chapter was and still is in a position, which would place it on probationary membership with the IFC,” the letter said.

Probationary status in the eyes of IFC means a chapter that has an “abridged” standing with the University, according to IFC bylaws. Pi Kappa Phi’s standing with their national organization does not put their standing with GW in jeopardy.

“I believe the chapter’s social probation does not meet the standards set forth by the IFC to meet the standard of probationary membership,” Executive Director of the Student Activities Center Tim Miller said. Miller has been overseeing Greek-letter life since the departure of the former head of Greek-letter life Dean Harwood over the summer.

With Hulse serving as IFC president as a member of a fully-recognized fraternity, a three-fourths vote from the Presidents’ Council — a division of the IFC and composed of the presidents of GW’s 16 fraternities — is required to remove him, according to the IFC constitution.

However, the IFC bylaws state that the Presidents’ Council can demote any fraternity chapter from regular membership to probationary membership status with a simple majority vote, triggering the possibility that Hulse could be removed if six presidents cast a vote of no confidence in Hulse’s leadership.

The IFC constitution states:

A. In the event that a member fraternity fails to comply with the rules, regulations,
policies and standards of the IFC or The George Washington University, the IFC may withdraw recognition of said fraternity.

B. The motion to withdraw recognition of a member fraternity must be presented to the
Executive Board. The Executive Board must agree to send the motion to the Presidents’ Council by a simple majority vote.

C. Should the Executive Board vote to send the motion to the Presidents’ Council, the fraternity in question will be notified of this decision and will be offered a chance to present their case to the Presidents’ Council before a vote occurs. The IFC must notify said fraternity no less than five (5) days before the motion is scheduled to be voted upon. If the Presidents’ Council does vote to put Pi Kappa Phi on probationary status, it would likely be done solely to make it removing Hulse easier, rather than to punish the entire fraternity, as the fraternity has been on probation since April.

If the Presidents’ Council does vote to put Pi Kappa Phi on probationary status, it would likely be done  to make removing Hulse easier, rather than to punish the entire fraternity, as the fraternity has been on social sanctions since the spring.

The President’s Council is set to discuss Pi Kappa Phi’s status in the IFC tonight, but that could be postponed or canceled depending on statements made by Miller, Hulse or any of the presidents in the meeting.

Previous articles:
Oct. 12, 2010 – Fate of IFC president’s removal rests in bylaws, constitution and semantics
Oct. 11, 2010 – Fraternities seek to remove IFC president

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