Monday, June 7, 2010

Best of Busted!

Penn State DU Alumni Board Shuts Down Chapter

The alumni board of a Penn State fraternity is shutting down the house, saying the students living there caused a long list of problems ranging from not taking care of the property to offering marijuana to a visitor from the fraternity's leadership.

The alumni board is in the process of expelling the members from the house, saying ongoing efforts to work with them didn’t stop the problems. The alumni board plans to reopen the house in fall 2010 with new members.

“It’s certainly something that had been building for quite some time,” An Alumni Board leader said. “Even at the beginning of the summer, we had intentions of working with them to try to turn the place around. They still continued to show an unwillingness to live by the principles of the fraternity.”

The problems have been going on for several years, and some are visible — a broken window, damaged floors, holes in the walls and a stair banister ripped from a wall. Other problems were drug and alcohol related.

The chapter ended up in redevelopment — a sort of probationary oversight — after a fraternity member offered marijuana to a representative of Delta Upsilon International during a visit.

As hard as it is so see chapter facilities close, we give kudos to this alumni group for putting their feet down. All too often, chapters complain of alumni NOT giving them the attention and the resources that they need but here we see an example of a chapter who does have access to interested alumni and chooses not to take advantage of their assistance.

The fraternity/sorority community is so privileged when you think about the resources that chapter members get: inter/national offices and staff members, campus advisors, and involved, passionate alumni. All of these people are genuinely invested in helping chapters succeed but we still find ways to mess it up. Hey, we even get consultants who COME DIRECTLY TO YOU with huge connections and resources to help chapters meet and exceed expectations.

Speaking of consultants…yes, you read correctly: this chapter offered marijuana to the consultant that came to their chapter. This is just plain weird. We know from past Busted! columns that there are fraternity and sorority members who smoke pot… but who would have thought that anyone would think the consultant would partake?

This article is a great reminder of another issue that doesn’t come up very often: how our alumni feel about what we do. The full length version of this article mentioned specifically how upset some of the older living alumni, men in their 70’s, felt about this. These were men who had lived in the house, valued the chapter, and committed their years after college graduation to serve the organization… and now this. Sad.

Another sad piece is that this decision did not come out of the blue; closing this facility was clearly illustrated as being a last resort. The international office gave the chapter a plan for success which they chose not to follow. The chapter also failed to meet any of the expectations of the Alumni Board over the past few years as the problems escalated. Maybe the chapter members thought it was an empty threat? Seems like a bold move.

Danahy, A. (2009, July 30). Penn State DU alumni board shuts down chapter. Centre Daily Times Retrieved July 30, 2009 from:

1 comment:

tcp1330 said...

The difficulty is too many undergrad members don't understand the chapter/house is not THEIRS - it belongs to all the alumni who worked to make it possible, and to all the men who may have a chance to be members in the future.

Current members have a responsibility to be good custodians of the chapter - to protect it from harm and leave it as good or better than they found it. They DO NOT have the right to gamble with its future through illegal activities.

The unfortunate truth is that too many members (any is too many) want to treat their chapter like some treat a rental car - drive the crap out of it, drop it off and walk away. A couple years or more of that and you have a car (chapter) no one wants to drive (join), except for those who just want to finish it off.