Cruel, unusual punishment?

A certain NIU fraternity, specifically Kappa Alpha Psi, appears to be getting a raw deal on what should promise to be, for the rest of us, a festive Homecoming weekend.

The raw deal is coming straight from the Student Affairs Office.

The members of Kappa Alpha Psi have been told they will not be allowed to hold a homecoming dance this weekend—not in the Holmes Student Center, not anywhere on campus, not even in their own off-campus fraternity house and probably no where in the Tristate area if the Office of Student Affairs had its way. Ouch!

What heinous crime have they committed to deserve this cruel and unusual punishment on the biggest weekend for greeks of the year one might ask.

Two individual fraternity members, one from Kappa Alpha Psi and one from Alpha Phi Alpha, came to blows two weekends ago at a dance at the student center. The fight was quickly broken up by fraternity members present, and both men were escorted out the door. Boys will be boys.

The Kappa Alpha Phi involved in the scuffle happened to be the chapter president. His privileges were soon revoked by his own fraternity members who were apparently less than pleased with his behavior.

An unfortunate rash of fighting incidents over the past few years at black greek dances, one winding up in a stabbing, has forced university officials to watch over future dances like hawks and rightfully so.

However, the frats have been able to keep their noses clean for quite some time. As a matter of fact, they took it up as their own responsibility. Even the administration would agree they’ve been handling things quite well, thank you.

It could be well argued that the Kappa Alpha Psi and Alpha Phi Alpha incident was one such incident. Sounds like the guys did pretty well when a scuffle arose.

“Well congratulations Kappa Alpha Phi,” Vice President of Student Affairs Barbara Henley seemed to say. “We’re yanking your Homecoming dance at the student center. Tell the alumni and your other 400 guests to stay home.”

The university has been backed into a corner by past incidents. They’ve decided that when a fight breaks out at a Homecoming dance, the next dance will be canceled. Them’s the rules.

Perhaps this policy doesn’t need to be used to bludgeon Kappa Alpha Psi this time. In light of the circumstances, the slightness of the offending incident and Homecoming weekend, the policy sounds more like an Old Testament stoning.

It’s understandable, even commendable, that the university wants to take the fight problems seriously, but let’s look at the case here a little more carefully.

Larry Bolles, NIU Judicial Office director, also happens to be the Kappa Alpha Psi adviser. If he can handle the entire student body, the university should give him enough credit to be able to handle his own guys at a dance.

Michelle Emmet, director of University Programming and Activities, said greeks are “held to a higher standard” at NIU.

Obviously, they’re held to a higher standard than football players because if the football team had to cancel its game every week a football player beat on someone, the Huskies would be facing some pretty slim seasons.

This decision has come from above UP&A, however. Student Affairs seems to have its mind made up—a stoning it will be.

This one will probably have to get to Lowden Hall before it gets changed. What do you say President La Tourette? How ‘bout showing a little school spirit? Take the handoff.