Fraternity council suspends Chi Psi

Matthew Gruchow

The Interfraternity Council, which governs fraternities on campus, has suspended the University’s Chi Psi chapter from the council for “several violations of (its) alcohol and risk-management policy,” the council president said Tuesday.

Paul Horner, president of the council and a Minnesota Daily employee, said the violations occurred earlier this term but refused to discuss their details.

“The safety of our members and our guests is our highest priority. We look at good, clean, fun and safe events,” Horner said.

Horner said Chi Psi is taking steps to comply with the suspension, which it has appealed.

“We’re happy with the progress that this fraternity is making in dealing with its own particular issues,” Horner said.

According to a council document distributed to council-member fraternities, Chi Psi, also known as the Lodge, will be suspended until December. The Lodge must complete 200 hours of community service and will not be allowed to participate in intramural sports, social activities or parties.

The Lodge could face expulsion from the council until fall 2005 if it fails to comply with the rules of its suspension, according to the document.

The Lodge admits to making mistakes and accepts the sanctions against it, Lodge President James Rue wrote in a statement.

“As an undergraduate body, we take full responsibility for those mistakes,” the statement read. “When we have guests in the Lodge, we want them to leave feeling that they had the time of their life in a safe environment, and that the Lodgers truly are gentlemen.”

The fraternity did not answer a request for additional details about the violations.

Because the fraternity broke council policies and not University rules, the school will not be involved with the disciplinary process, said David Ruth, a spokesman for the University.

Chi Psi’s Executive Director Sam Bessey said the fraternity will begin sending a representative of the national leadership to each chapter and colony to address safety issues and to help ensure fraternity chapters are adhering to Chi Psi regulations, he said.

“We’re doubling our efforts to make sure they’re doing so,” Bessey said.

University and city police have been called to the fraternity’s house at 1515 University Ave. S.E., a total of 24 times since Jan. 1, 2001, according to police records.

The records indicate that eight of those calls were for fights on the property, noise complaints or various disturbances.

Chi Psi was the first fraternity on campus and was founded in 1874. There are 31 international chapters, according to the fraternity’s University Web site.