Monday, July 19, 2010

Best of Busted!

URI Phi Kappa Psi expelled on drug, destruction violations

A fraternity has been ejected from the University of Rhode Island under a “three strikes and you’re out” policy following a December raid in which a 20-year-old student was charged with a felony count of drug dealing.

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is banished for 18 months and cannot reoccupy its chapter house for four years, said URI’s vice president for student affairs.

University police, assisted by South Kingstown officers, entered the house with a search warrant at 4 a.m. December 5. The police said they found a locked safe in a closet.

The police pried open the safe, the report said, after [the student] refused to disclose the combination. Inside, they found 100 grams of marijuana, miscellaneous pills, two scales, a 16-gigabyte iPod, $130 in cash and what they described as a drug ledger.

In November the fraternity was found in violation of URI policies on substance abuse and destruction of property, which included holes punched in the walls, furniture destroyed and glass bottles smashed in the shower and bathroom.

The president of the Interfraternity Council at URI said the action was appropriate. “The events that took place at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house … stand against the values and beliefs shared by the Greek community,” he said.

For those who are screaming “Personal use!” or are thinking, “100 grams?! Come on, that doesn’t seem like that much, give the guy a break!”, let us break it down for you: 100 grams is about 3.5 ounces. In case you didn’t know, an ounce of weed is about enough to fill a plastic sandwich bag and costs between $300-$400 depending on where you are, who you know, and how ‘good’ the weed is. Also, in case you didn’t know, most recreational marijuana smokers buy weed by the eighth of an ounce. This means that this guy had enough pot to sell to 28 people. So, the article doesn’t say this, but we can do the math: this guy had between $1050 and $1400 worth of marijuana in his safe. Either way you look at it, that’s a lot of pot, even if you’re that guy from Pineapple Express.

Okay, we get the fact that lots of (dare we say most?) people have smoked pot once or twice… even our current President has admitted to it. So, although there isn’t as much of a stigma around recreational marijuana use as there used to be, you still can’t sell it… especially out of your fraternity house! We realize that college is expensive, but there are lots of other ways to make some extra cash.

In addition to the fact that selling marijuana is illegal, we still have our fraternity values hiding behind the door… (Oh! Here they are! Silly old values, always sneaking up on us!) According to the Phi Kappa Psi website, one part of the fraternity’s mission states this:

“The Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity is an association of men of integrity who strive to develop the individual in his intellect, in his involvement in the community, and in his faith.”

The fraternity’s vision includes the following language:

“The Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity is committed to bettering individuals in order to improve society. To that end, we strive to provide undergraduate members with the opportunity to get as much out of their campus experience as possible, while working within their chapters to effect change in their communities.”

We’re just not sure that selling marijuana is in alignment with developing intellect and involvement in the community nor does such a habit or pastime allow this one member to be effecting positive change in his community. We’ve heard it all before: “Why are Greeks held to a higher standard?” Hello, other non-affiliated students on campus do not take a vow to uphold values like ‘effecting positive change’, ‘intellect’, and ‘integrity’. So, if you want to be in the weed selling biz, don’t join a fraternity.

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