Campus

BREAKING: AEPi, Pike, PsiU to lose their brownstones (UPDATED)

A member of Pi Kappa Alpha confirmed that Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger met with the president of the fraternity earlier today and announced that the fraternity will lose its brownstone on 114th in the fall. The fraternity will keep its charter but following recommendations from dean of community development and multicultural affairs Terry Martinez, the source says it can no longer maintain University housing. The source says Shollenberger told Pike its brownstone would remain vacant.

Sources have told Spectator that the other two drug bust fraternities, Psi Upsilon and Alpha Epsilon Pi, have also been told they will lose their brownstones. Last semester five Columbia students, four of them in fraternities, were arrested for selling drugs on campus. Dean Martinez has since undertaken a review of the judicial and academic records of all of the students who have belonged to those three fraternities in the last four years. Read more about her review in this week's Eye.

Check the News story for our full coverage. We'll be adding more to the story as we get updates.

UPDATE (9:16 p.m.): The fate of the Intercultural Resource Center has yet to be decided, according to residents. IRC member Annie Tan, CC '11, said Martinez began her review of the IRC after she finished the one on the fraternities and that residents are optimistic about its outcome.

UPDATE (10:27 p.m.): A member of one of the fraternities involved confirmed that all three will lose their brownstones but will keep their charters. He also said that they were told they may get their houses back in as soon as two years if no more members had disciplinary issues.

Know more? Email us at news@columbiaspectator.com

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CC'11 posted on

marry me.

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the time is now posted on

トラトラトラ!

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Columbia Parent and alumnus posted on

End fraternities and make Columbia a better college.

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On David posted on

Maybe the actions of the university are a measure to control what Harrison David's lawyer called "irresponsible college life."

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Saleena posted on

Reading posts like this make srfuing such a pleasure

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Anonymous posted on

Seemed fairly supportive as Chris Coles was able to deal mass amount of pot FROM the IRC itself...

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this is sad posted on

How about not lumping all three frats together? Their reputations are very different.

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this is sad posted on

Have you met these guys? Exactly who was being excluded?

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this is sad posted on

Really? According to police reports after the arrests, he didn't begin "what he was doing" until last summer, after he was already a member.

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this is sad posted on

Agreed.

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Daniel posted on

Joe Walsh is a loser! He voted for the Patriot Act and this dusiistgng piece of trash cant even pay his child support, but yet wants to preach to others? He also votes for wars and everything Israel wants, including a war with Iran. How about you chickenhawks actually go do the fighting? Joe Walsh is a RINO! What part of loyalty to the constitution does he not understand? The only thing stupider than Walsh is the Tea Party people that continue to support this RINO.

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... posted on

i propose that all the helicopter parents on here that want to band together to bail out their little angels who stood back and laughed as their "brothers" made mistakes so grave that they may alter the courses of their lives forever create an association. since it will be for bailing out your troubled little angel manchildren, i propose the name Troubled Angel Relief Program.

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Alumna '99 posted on

Exactly. (it was a rhetorical question). In fact, the same issue occurred in 1997 in the dorms...and clearly, they didn't shut down the dorms. The point is exactly that. They can shut down the brownstones to deal with part of the current incarnation of the issue, but what is the longer term plan...as clearly they can't shut it all down.

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"Would they shut the dorms down?" posted on

No. Do you not understand the issue here?

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Alumna '99 posted on

I realize they are closing the Brownstones because they can, and it affects a relatively small number of people. Nonetheless, if there were 4 kids busted in Hartley/wallach, for example, would they shut the dorms down? The university has the right to make the decision either way...just as they did when they gave the brownstones to the Greek system...in some cases, fairly recently. My question is, what is the goal of the admin at the university? Do they only care about selling and not usage? People were buying the drugs, afterall. I don't think they know what their plan is, and that is a greater issue than their recent decision.

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CC '07 posted on

One singular person in each house, not people. There was no conspiracy inside the house.

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Hey posted on

Remember that time people sold lots of drugs out of the frat houses in question?

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well said posted on

read my name

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CC '07 posted on

One more thing and then I'm done. Even if the members of the fraternity knew of the illegal activities, that does not imply that they condoned them. However by not kicking them out, it certainly would send a mixed message.... that is IF they even knew, no one can assume they did, that's just not fair and is a perfect example of jumping to conclusions based on previous bias or intuition, not facts.

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CC '07 posted on

One more thing, "Columbia Alumnus," the fraternities never parade around Campus trying to force people to engage in their lifestyle (actually it happens twice a year at the activities fair, which also includes a dominatrix society, fyi) so why are you so fierce on imposing yours on them? That sounds slightly utilitarian or even fascist. The only thing that they drain from Columbia is it's debt by paying absurd amount of rent for rooms with sub par building repair services. Again, I know from EXPERIENCE. If students want to avoid the fraternity lifestyle that is their choice. Don't try to shut the brotherhoods down if you don't like them and what you "believe" they stand for, just ignore them and be a little less hostile, they aren't coming to get you in your sleep.

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CC '07 posted on

Wow, I have never seen so much speculation in my life. I graduated from CC in 07 and was a member of one of the fraternities who have now lost their houses. I am not going to defend the houses, but would rather comment on how stupidly speculative the majority of these comments are.

The ignorance, the shear ignorance of some of these posts is baffling. I would like to refer to "Columbia Parent and Alumnus:"

"Early in Junior’s freshman year he was invited to visit two Greek groups, one of which is involved in the present scandal. He didn’t go to either rush. Last weekend he said that he has no regrets because, from what he has seen, fraternities do not have a good effect on their membership.
Drugs are common in most, if not all, Columbia fraternities, and illegal drinking is virtually universal. Females coming to parties do so at their own risk. That was true in my day and today as well.
I am in favor of ending the fraternity system altogether, and would contribute substantially to any group that supported this action"

How can you comment on what goes on inside fraternities from your son's point of view who never even bothered to join one. If he had been a brother and was involved inside the actual workings of the society, was subsequently turned off by them, and then reported to you, then you should feel free to comment. However, you are basing your factual statements on speculation made by your son. This wouldn't hold up in any conceivable debate.

Side note, drugs are rampant all throughout Columbia, not just the fraternities. I would say however that less than 10% of my brothers ever engaged in illegal substance use, which was mostly just Pot. I'm pretty sure even our illustrious Allan Ginsberg, took a few tokes and drank a couple brews in his day. Now the university has special readings to immortalize him. I do not want to get into a drug debate here though, I really only want to silence the speculative idiots. So back to you "Parent and Alumnus..."

Furthermore, "women entering at their own risk." Really? Unless my organization has completely changed in 3 years, which I highly doubt, the idea of taking advantage of a woman in my fraternity was simply unheard of. Period. I don't care what rumours people have heard from a friend who told a friend who told a friend (this isn't a washing detergent commercial, these are serious allegations), give me one solid example, one factual incident of any of these things happening. Please provide some proof. I cannot emphasize this enough, please give proof. We always maintained a fantastic relationship with the sororities and would enjoy their company often in, and around the house because they felt comfortable with us. I'm pretty sure that if we took advantage of them and engaged in sexual assault and female degradation, they wouldn't keep organizing mixers with us. To be perfectly honest, most of my brothers had serious girlfriends in college, many of whom they are still with. The majority of females who thought poorly of the fraternity and were scared to come over for parties (i.e. had to watch their beers being opened in front of them for fear of getting drugged) never spent much time in them to begin with out of blind fear of sexual assault (something that, I cannot say this enough, NEVER EVER came up in my fraternity during my time at school). I believe assuming that a group of men living together must engage in these depraved activities is somewhat prejudiced, to say the least. If you want to state that fraternities are evil places where girls go to get date raped or harassed, then provide me with one shred of actual evidence. Columbia and Barnard take sexual assault cases very very seriously, and believe me, if there were any REAL accusations, we would all know about it and the fraternity would have been gone a long time ago.

There is so much speculation on this "Spectator" blog that it is nauseating.

All I know is that when I WAS in one of these fraternities, we held the highest GPA of any Greek organization on campus, had multiple student body presidents as members, and I have seen the majority of my brothers, from all different backgrounds and walks of life, continue on to fantastic careers and excellence after college. I personally own a successful business, and I'm not sure I would have had the gusto to do so without the support of the brotherhood network as I was maturing.

Most importantly, we never imposed ourselves or passed judgement on Columbia student life, if someone wanted to come have some fun on the weekends at one of our parties, good for them, it was their choice to come. If someone didn't want to come over, we did not shove our rhetoric down their throats. However, from the looks of this blog, the people who didn't want to get to know us (maybe they should have, blind judgement is a bitch) certainly feel free to shove their rhetoric down the Greek systems pie hole.

I can understand that Columbia had to take severe action after getting a media pie in the face. However, we shouldn't take this as an opportunity for speculative outsiders to make stupid one sided comments about an issue that they really know not very much about. Don't ever "assume," it's far better to "know" before you comment "Columbia Parent and Alumnus," if you were too scared by blind judgement to go to frat houses in your day, maybe you should keep your comments to yourself until you've gone in one and gotten to know the people you're blindly judging and ultimately demonizing.

On another note, "Columbia Parent (Not Alumnus)" I agree that Columbia did not follow the mold set forth in our modern legal system when coming to a decision about the houses, however we must remember that it is a private institution and they are allowed to jump to their own conclusions if they want. I agree that it was very misguided and somewhat unfair, but the fraternities, mine included, have always been on the defense against the administration and should have monitored the goings on in their buildings better. It is, in fact, a lot like "Animal House," actually, with the "evil" dean looking for a reason to get rid of the social life he doesn't like, it's just too bad that they gave him one, especially since the majority of these students are fine, upstanding, motivated gentlemen (very unlike the members of Delta Tau Chi), and, unlike most of you who care to comment, I know this from EXPERIENCE.

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Anonymous posted on

they all knew what the other members were doing. harrison was recruited because of what he was doing.

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Anonymous posted on

orrr maybe alumni would have not given money to columbia because they were still wasting money on communities that only benefit themselves. I know I wouldn't have.

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well yeah posted on

it's one thing if a poor kid is selling drugs to pay for school. it's another when they're rich or have full scholarships.

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Anonymous posted on

I know when I meet a parent I make sure to be completely honest about all my exclusionary practices.

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Anonymous posted on

or continue to not accept them. And the IRC doesn't support the culture of drug use/sale whereas, if you live on campus, you know that frats do.

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anon posted on

Columbia has been looking for an excuse to destroy Greek life for a long time.. This was merely the straw that broke the camel's back

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Amen posted on

The University of Chicago is going to have to give up the nickname, "Where Fun Goes to Die." Way to go, Columbia admin.

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JP posted on

What about the Intercultural Resource Center aka co-ed black (some hispanic) brownstone where Chris Coles was caught dealing pounds of cannabis...or the suitemates of Mike Wymbs in East Campis housing.

UNSCATHED!

Hmmm the deans who decided include a Hispanic woman and a homosexual man...both progressives with an agenda to uproot any institution that did not accept them in college.

Pshh

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deserved posted on

I thought I'd be done with the one comment, but come on. No, you don't get rid of the fencing team because one member was dealing. There is not a fencing brownstone managed by the fencing team. Same with the LLC--the university takes direct oversight over what goes on there, same as any other dorm. Responsibility for what goes on in the frat brownstone falls to the frat far more than it does to students that live in any other sort of campus housing. That is a clear difference.

Also, the frat has not been gotten rid of. It has simply lost its housing. If you're going to compare frats losing their houses to the fencing team getting kicked off campus, then you're essentially saying that the house is all the frat is. If that's the case, then why in the world do we have frats at all rather than opening up those buildings as dorms for all students?

Not saying we should just eliminate frats entirely. Just saying let's try to keep some perspective. Housing was a big part of what these frats were. That's changing. They can figure out how to deal with it, or wither away and only prove that the university was right to take the actions it did.

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word posted on

preach!!

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JP posted on

That is messed up. Let people care about the issues they want to care about. Maybe you, CC, should leave this discussion. So Columbia Parents, speak your minds!

So ignorant.

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JP posted on

Mr. Parent, don't listen to this anti-Greek fool. For those who know about fraternities, losing a house is the worst thing the progressive Columbia administration could have done. There is a frat for everyone and they foster environments where students can find meaningful place in a social and philanthropic organization in a university that strives to make students feel small and weak. Neophytes are molded into finer men and women because they have close contact with older students who can be role models. So students will all be less happy and less likely to donate.

Harvard 27 billion endowment...Columbia 6....terrible alumni relations and this won't help.

Drug dealing was not and never has been the core to the Greek culture.

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Columbia Parent and alumnus posted on

I was so pleased when my son decided not to join a fraternity. I was 21 when I came to Morningside Heights after 4 years in the Marines. The whole Greek experience did not appeal to me and I didn't feel that I missed anything.

Early in Junior's freshman year he was invited to visit two Greek groups, one of which is involved in the present scandal. He didn't go to either rush. Last weekend he said that he has no regrets because, from what he has seen, fraternities do not have a good effect on their membership.

Drugs are common in most, if not all, Columbia fraternities, and illegal drinking is virtually universal. Females coming to parties do so at their own risk. That was true in my day and today as well.

I am in favor of ending the fraternity system altogether, and would contribute substantially to any group that supported this action.

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Hey Columbia parents posted on

What sort of disciplinary action against the frats do you think would have been appropriate?

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James posted on

Fraternities may drink, and some members may even do drugs, but you can't blame and entire system because some members partake in them. If you did that, you'd be getting rid of clubs and activities left and right. Should we get rid of the fencing team because one member was dealing? Should we get rid of the LLC because someone from it was dealing? I just feel getting rid of the system because members partook in it is beyond drastic.

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Columbia Parent 2 posted on

The Columbia administration (at whatever level you choose) also has not created a "culture of compliance." Nor has any other university administration in this country. Should they all be sanctioned? Where do you draw the line if you believe in guilt by association?

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Columbia Parent posted on

"The university wouldn't be acting if they didn't have some serious evidence"? The second this story broke, I was told by more than one source that the university would definitely take the houses away, regardless of whether there was evidence that the other members knew about the illegal activity, due to the general shortage of housing. Did the frats give the university an excuse to do so? Yes. Was this decision based on "serious evidence"? Less certain. Fraternities and sororities aren't for everyone, but let's face facts == they do provide some semblance of a social scene at a school that is known for being seriously lacking in this area. If convicted, the students involved will certainly suffer serious consequences. I for one take no pleasure in their misfortune. Using their legal troubles as an opportunity to punish the other members of their frat is unfortunate.

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CC '11 posted on

Columbia Parent: Get over yourself. Look at your life, look at your choices. You are arguing with college kids ON THE INTERNET. Don't you have better things to be doing that bothering us?

I mean, honestly. Get a life.

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CC '11 posted on

"way to much"

i lol'd

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CC '11 posted on

WORD. Thank you for saying this.

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cc posted on

hear, hear.

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troll police posted on

please raise your hand if you are a troll. kthanxbye.

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Dorms posted on

And frats are not the same thing. That is all.

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Columbia Parent posted on

You sound very bitter. I don't know about the other two fraternities, but my son's is the polar opposite of exclusionary. The young men I met were intelligent and inclusive and made a point of accepting anyione who sought to become a member. The extended investigation annd probation were indeed consequences for all members. Taking the houses away is an overreaction.

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Columbia Parent posted on

This is not a racial issue. If anything, there has been way to much glee over the fact thhat these kids are white and privileged.

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alum posted on

i think the ncaa is a pretty good example. in the case involving the UCONN basketball head coach, they sanctioned him because he did not create a 'culture of compliance.'

there is something awful about being silent when your fratmates are sullying your name. (i was in a frat as a student). in the end frats have a lot to lose, their charter, respect, their standing. dealing drugs out of the house is just a very poor idea. and a lot of these consequences were going to come to a head one way or another with or without an investigation by the NYPD.

in my opinion, they got off easy. they still get to exist as fraternities, which is better than i thought it was going to be.

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alumnae '10 posted on

In response to "EVERYONE knew they were selling drugs": yes, almost everyone on campus does know that certain frats are where you go if you want to purchase drugs. Sucks that you're kid is in that frat, but its true. Maybe your kid has no part in it, but regardless of whether or not he does drugs, most of the things that the frats are known for are not good- philanthropy? sure, their parents write checks during relay for life every year. There's also the binge drinking, drugs, misogyny, and general frat culture that they all have a horrible reputation for.

I actually do believe in guilt by association. The chances that these kids, even if they weren't directly involved, didn't know about their brothers' "extracurricular activities" is slim to none, and the university wouldn't be acting on it if they didn't have some serious evidence. the frats need to shape up, maybe they'll get a reputation for something positive for once.

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Columbia Parent 2 posted on

Where is the rigor of thought in these responses?

For example, ... says "it’s helicopter parents like you that produce kids that are so unbelievably inept that they can’t even keep petty drug dealing from turning into a massive debacle like this. it’s time to cut the purse strings, your little angel is now an adult. go play golf or something." Are you saying my son is a drug dealer? I do enjoy golf, by the way.

Or anonymous, who says: "This’ll teach frats not to embarrass CU again like this." How, exactly, did the "frats" embarrass Columbia? Did EC also "embarrass" Columbia?

Or Sounds Good to Me, who says: Remember "the fact that these kids are an embarrassment to the university." "The other brothers in the frat houses knew and didn’t make them stop or kick them out of the frat house. EVERYONE knew these kids sold drugs out of the houses so now they need to be punished." So YOU knew they were selling drugs? Are YOU being punished?

deserved had a thoughtful post, for which this reader is grateful. I have problems, however, with this statement: "Instead, try blaming the kids who ran these frats and weren’t mature/responsible/sensible enough to serve the interests of the group as a whole by stopping it, or at the very least making sure this stuff stayed far away from frat business." What about the RA in EC? Or the IRC leadership? Or, for that matter, the Housing people? Aren't they responsible for what goes on in housing?

Guilt by association is wrong. One would think that the administration at Columbia would know this.

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^ posted on

well said

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