Decision pendind on frat’s sanction

By Stephanie Bradley

A decision on what, if any, sanctions should be given to the suspended Sigma Chi fraternity will be made today at a meeting between the fraternity and Jon Dalton, NIU vice president for student affairs.

Sigma Chi was placed on suspension Nov. 21 after five members performed a lip-synch of the Temptations’ song “My Girl” in blackface, which was seen as offensive by many people at a Delta Phi Epsilon sorority fundraiser on Nov. 20.

Dalton said he is meeting with Sig Chi and Student Association representatives to discuss proposed sanctions. Sanctions given will depend on what the groups can agree to.

Sig Chi President Bram Hornstein said he hopes Dalton will accept the sanction proposals he will make, but Dalton “can do anything he wants.”

Dalton said he believes “serious sanctions and action are warranted. It was clear the fraternity participated in (the skit). I had first-hand accounts of it. I needed to respond quickly.”

Larry Bolles, NIU Judicial Office director, said Dalton did not “jump the gun” in suspending Sigma Chi because Dalton knew what happened and there were many witnesses to the skit. Bolles said Dalton had to do something quickly because “others would try to get answers themselves. It’s better if NIU (takes care of) it.”

Bolles said his office will not pursue the matter because Sig Chi did not break any NIU judicial laws, and the incident occurred off-campus, at the Jungle, 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive.

Since Sig Chi is a university-recognized organization, Dalton’s office has the right to review and sanction it, Dalton said. He also will talk to the Interfraternity Council to get its input because the IFC has a great amount of influence on these matters.

Hornstein said he knew the members were going to perform the Temptation’s song, but had no idea what exactly the skit entailed. “I was surprised and shocked. I did not expect it.”

Hornstein said a Sig Chi meeting last week with Jeff Cufaude, University Programming and Activities activities adviser, did not go in-depth, but did discuss “things we needed to work on.”

Sig Chi members “said the incident was unfortunate and regretted it, and are willing to take steps to correct it,” Dalton said. He also has asked Cufaude and the Panhellenic Council to investigate Delta Phi Epsilon’s part in the controversy.

Tracy Lynn Deis, Black Student Union president, said she was “very offended that so-called educated people” did not think that their skit was offensive when they performed it. She said that in light of the Nazi-oriented flyers bearing the Sigma Chi crest and name which appeared on Greek Row buses last year, the fraternity should have been more sensitive to racist issues.

Deis said she believes the fraternity should lose its charter.