IFC declines Eta Lodge's request for membership

By a significant majority vote, the Inter-Fraternity Council at its weekly Presidents Council meeting Thursday night rejected Eta Lodge's petition to become a local fraternity with IFC sponsorship.

"Eta Lodge is not an IFC fraternity," IFC President Ryan Ewalt said. "In the foreseeable future, they are not going to gain admittance to the IFC."

Ewalt cited several reasons for the decision, including dirty rushing potential members, throwing parties that last late into the night and leaving trash in the yard.

"They haven't been behaving according to IFC standards at all," he said.

The IFC's decision was final and does not provide for an appeal process, IFC Vice President for Membership Greg Moore said.

"It was a very difficult decision for the IFC to make," Moore said.

Eta Lodge members meanwhile said they are evaluating their future options.

"We wish the decision went our way but we respect the IFC's choice," Eta Lodge President Rob Longo said. "We are looking to maintain a close relationship with the IFC and to find out what needs to be done to regain IFC affiliation."

Longo said the members of Eta Lodge plan to fully cooperate with the IFC.

"We've always viewed them as a resource all along -- nothing's going to change as a result of the decision," he said.

Applying for sponsorship to one of the four Greek governing councils -- the IFC, the Inter-Sorority Council, the Multicultural Greek Council or the Black Fraternal Council -- is the second of several required steps to become a Greek organization as mandated by the University's Fraternal Organization Agreement.

"It's a pretty long process as far as applying and gaining admittance to the IFC," Ewalt said.

Eta Lodge completed the first step in the process last semester by securing status as a Contracted Independent Organization through Student Council.

The IFC's decision to decline sponsorship has left Eta Lodge with indefinite CIO status.

"From what I can tell, I don't have power to revoke CIO status individually," said Eli DeJarnette, Student Council vice president for organizations. "I do believe the representative body has the power to revoke CIO status [through] a hearing process."

The Student Council bylaws on the FOA-CIO relationship have not been updated for some time, DeJarnette said.

DeJarnette said he plans to meet with administrators from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life on Thursday to discuss the FOA-CIO renewal process and to clarify procedures.

Eta Lodge was formerly an IFC fraternity called Phi Kappa Sigma whose charter was revoked in the summer of 2002 for alcohol-free housing violations and strained relationships with their national headquarters, Ewalt said.

After its charter was revoked, the group sought membership in the MGC as a local fraternity but was rejected because it did not fit in with the MGC's mission statement to include culturally diverse and service-based groups, MGC President Melody Han said.

"If we were to accept a group that did not fit our mission statement, that would be a backward step for us," Han said.

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