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Board Rejects Housing Appeals

Board Rejects Housing Appeals

By Rebecca Dann

One of Kenyon’s most storied fraternities is losing its most storied space.

Delta Kappa Epsilon will lose its “bullseye” room in Old Kenyon for a one-year probationary period beginning this fall. The DKEs, Delta Tau Delta and the College Township Fire Department all lost appeals to the Board of Division Housing last month. The groups sent proposals to appeal their housing decisions for the 2012-13 school year on Feb. 6, and the Board met the following week for two hours to discuss the three appeals, according to Alicia Dugas, chair of the Board and assistant dean of students for Housing and Residential Life.

The Board is composed of two faculty members, Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Christina Mastrangelo, four voting students, two students who do not vote and Dugas. The Board advises Dugas, but she makes all ultimate decisions. Dugas said she is content with the Board’s decisions and feels it made fair choices.

The DKEs appealed to the Board in an effort to gain back several of the rooms they lost as a result of a hazing incident that occurred last spring. Currently, 18 of their 24 active members live in the west wing of Old Kenyon, which includes the room known as the right bullseye, named for its bullseye-shaped window. The left bullseye remains a part of Alpha Delta Phi division housing.

Samuel Baker ’13, president of the DKEs, feels they already received consequences for the hazing incident last spring and does not believe that their punishment should include reduced housing space. Since the incident, the DKEs have adopted a new attitude and have ensured that nothing of that nature will ever occur again, according to Baker. “We’ve instituted culture changes and I really feel that we’re headed in the right direction. … Everything this year is going very well,” he said.

The Board notified the fraternity that they were losing three singles and a triple for next year on Jan. 25. The fraternity appealed the decision, explaining that the bullseye is an integral part of its organization and losing it could potentially hurt recruitment and reduce space to hold social gatherings. “It would fragment our space … leaving it so we can’t have corporate control over our hall. … If they throw parties there is no way to have any accountability as to where the blame falls … whether it be on us or an independent party,” Baker said.

Another reason the DKEs feel this decision is not completely justified is that most students who were involved in the hazing incident are current seniors graduating this year. “Next year there’s only going to be one brother who was active at the time of the hazing incident. It seems unfair that the people who received the hazing are now suffering the consequences of the incident,” Baker said.

The DKEs are fully aware that they must be held accountable for their actions and this is why they accepted the loss of some of their rooms, according to Baker. “We don’t deserve to get off scott-free. … That’s why we can lose some of our rooms,” he said. “But we still need to be able to succeed as a united organization.”

The Board, however, still decided the fraternity needs more time to learn to manage its space in a way that will positively reflect the community, according to Dugas. “The Board made the decision that in order for them to get serious about controlling this space … they perhaps need to lose it for a year and then earn it back,” she said.

The Board wanted to emphasize that this change is not permanent, and the DKEs have a fair chance to win it back. “They were reminded that they have a lounge and that a number of groups don’t even have space like that. … There are many spaces that they could use on campus for recruitment and social space in which they could be successful,” Dugas said.

Delta Tau Delta also appealed its division housing decision. The fraternity, which is currently located in the middle of Leonard Hall with singles and some small doubles on the first floor, requested rooms at the end of Leonard. The group’s appeal came from a desire for larger doubles and fewer singles, as not all members could afford the price of a single. Currently, the doubles in the middle of Leonard are some of the smallest in all of south housing. Pete Heck ’14, the Delts’ rush co-chair and division housing coordinator, also said, “It would unify our group … as we would only have one fire door separating our group.”

The Board was impressed by the amount of research the Delts did but was uncomfortable making such a drastic change in the span of a single year, according to Dugas. “The information they provided was great,” she said. “And there’s a lot of potential to rework some of the things in Leonard, but it wasn’t something that could happen overnight.” Dugas and the Board also felt that approving this appeal might hurt independent students living in Leonard. The Board may work to resolve this concern in the future.

The Fire Department also submitted an appeal, but the Board did not consider it because it was tardy. “We had three formal appeals,” Dugas said. “[The Fire Department’s] came in far after the deadline, and when I consulted with the Board, they decided that they did not want to accept a late appeal. They felt that if the appeal had really been important, the group would have handed it in on time.”

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