A rush of whispers swarmed the RIT Greek community after Interfraternity Council President Greg Warchol sent out an e-mail announcing Triangle fraternity’s interim suspension on October 26.
|Members of the Triangle Fraternity relax in the living room of the Greek mansion they currently live in.
Student Conduct suspended Triangle after a hearing called to address disorderly conduct, harassment and RIT organizational policy charges. A combination of the suspension with Triangle’s clouded history may end up condemning them in the end.
“The history behind us caused things to be blown out of proportion,” Triangle President Scott Loyer Jr. said. Despite what Loyer acknowledges as a history of campus violations, this was the first disciplinary action against Triangle since the end of their probation in February 2008 for an alcohol-related violation.
“Triangle is not doomed, they can appeal the decision,” said Dawn Soufleris, chief conduct officer of RIT. “Any actions can be put on hold until the appeals board reaches a decision.”
Student Conduct will not disclose the specific events that led to the suspension, but one recent incident is well-known. According to sources close to the incident, Zeta Tau Alpha members were guarding the Greek rock on the quarter mile after new members - recruits that are not yet full members - had painted the rock with the sorority’s letters. New members from Triangle approached the sisters and asked to take over the rock.
Two of the 10 Triangle new members were severely intoxicated, said people familiar with a report of the incident.
When the sisters refused to leave, there was an altercation between the Zeta Tau Alpha sisters and the new Triangle members. The specific details of what happened next are in dispute, but someone called Public Safety.
Zeta Tau Alpha did not return messages seeking comment.
Triangle was immediately placed on interim suspension and was not allowed to associate with any sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha until their hearing on November 2, according to Soufleris and Loyer. At that hearing, Triangle was suspended until 2015, when the last remaining brother will graduate.
Triangle’s charter is being held under question by their national headquarters until the appeal is over. If they lose the appeal, then they will lose membership in the national organization.
Even when the chapter would be eligible to re-apply for membership, the potential brothers would have to go through a colonization process all over again. They would have to petition for membership to the national organization in order to be granted the opportunity to start a colony - a status given to an interested group of men before a national charter is awarded and the group becomes a chapter.
“I put my life into Triangle, and now it’s all gone. Four years, four years. I was a giant screw up before Triangle, but I joined and slowly took on leadership roles. I learned what I was made of and brought in the biggest class in 20 years as rush chair,” said Loyer. “Now I’m president, and I will always be the president that lost [our] charter. I will always be known as that, no matter how much good I’ve done.”
Along with the suspension of their fraternity, Triangle must give up their mansion on Greek Row. The 18 brothers currently inhabiting the house must move out by December 18 and find other housing for the remainder of the year. In addition, members are being charged a $700 housing fine for breaking their contract early to move off campus.
The brothers of Triangle are currently putting together a case to send to the appeals board claiming that the decision may have been influenced by events prior to the 2010 school year.
“I don’t blame anyone but us; not RIT, not student conduct. We messed up, and there were consequences,” Loyer said.