After three weeks of discussion and planning, the leaders of the
Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association are
beginning to publicly apologize for their alcohol abuse during a
University-funded retreat at Tau Beta Camp, which resulted in the
hospitalization of one of their members and a vote of no confidence
in some of the executives.
“What happened at the retreat was unfortunate. I would
like to emphasize our ability to move forward,” IFC President
Casey Bourke said. “We’re all writing extensive
personal statements with a lot of inner reflection about what our
offices mean to us, about our position in Greek life in general,
things we’ve learned, how we’ve grown and how we can
use this, if at all, to our benefit.”
Bourke, an LSA junior, added that the executives of IFC and
Panhel are visiting every chapter of the Greek community to
apologize publicly. “As constituents of the Greek community,
they should know,” he said.
Bourke also said the executives are refunding the Office of
Greek Life for money lost during the weekend, as well as giving a
public apology to the University administration. These measures
should be completed by Wednesday.
The presidents of all sororities associated with Panhel held a
closed vote and issued a vote of no confidence in all 10 members of
its executive board. But no one on Panhel will resign, said Panhel
spokeswoman Lauren Herskovic.
“More than just making apologies, we’ve continued
with the jobs we were elected to do — we’ve continued
with our discussion with (Vice President for Student Affairs) E.
Royster Harper and (Dean of Students) Ed Willis regarding deferred
recruitment,” Herskovic said. “A vote of no confidence
does not mean they’re asking us to resign, it is them telling
us they do not condone our acts, and since then, we have met with
them and we decided not to resign,” she said.
The fraternity presidents did not issue a vote of no confidence
to the IFC, and no one in the IFC will resign, either. “My
decisions were neither quick nor easy, but I stand behind
them,” Bourke said. “On a personal level, I certainly
need to make amends with people.”
Members of the IFC and Panhel cited as one of their areas of
concern the effect this will have on the Greek community’s
image, considering negative stereotypes already associated with
fraternities and sororities.
“We are going to work extra hard to get the good aspects
of the Greek community known to the (University) community,”
Herskovic said. “The stories that make the newspaper are the
ones that are the most shocking, and unfortunately, those are the
only ones we get.”
Some members of the University community do not believe the
incident will have much effect on the public image of the
“I think (the incident at Tau Beta Camp) would be
considered typical — I consider it typical,” said LSA
senior Niki Piotrowski. “On the weekends, their houses are
trashed and littered with cups from beer containers.”
Though the University doesn’t condone their actions,
Willis said he feels that the IFC and Panhel are working to remedy
the situation as best they can.
“Any time you’re working with students, they
stumble,” he said. “They do an awful lot of positive
things to impact the campus and the community.”
Willis added that he believes the Greek leadership learned from
the experience. “I would not expect that if this same set of
students went to the retreat again, this would happen,” he
said, but added that precautions will be taken on future retreats.
“We will be working to make sure this kind of thing
doesn’t happen again,” he said.
But some Greeks are still hurt to hear of their leaders’
“They’re telling us how to run our frats, and they
end up doing what’s wrong. … I’m sure a lot of
people respect their services, but they did what’s
wrong,” said Kinesiology freshman Mat Fisher, who asked that
his fraternity not be named. “Basically, they went behind our
backs and did what’s wrong.”
Fisher added that he feels the executives should have come out
earlier with the truth of the events. “Three weeks is putting
it back a little too much,” he said. “They are the
people that are supposed to set the example.”
Willis added that this will not help the Greek community’s
“It’s incumbent on the Greek system to change that
image … these situations don’t do a lot to
help,” he said.