Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Colorado Frats Trying to Get Even with University

Frats Take On University of Colorado, Again
(as reported by 9News.com)

It's round two of what could become a marathon battle between the University of Colorado and its fraternities, and the Greeks think they will win again.

University administrators cut official ties with fraternities when they refused in 2005 to delay their recruitment of freshmen following the alcohol-poisoning death a year earlier of a fraternity pledge.

Officials said new students need more time to get acclimated with student life before being exposed to the social pressures of fraternity life, and residences should have live-in advisers.

After official ties were cut, fraternities were treated like credit card companies or other vendors who wanted information about students.The Interfraternity Council, which represents 15 Boulder chapters, hired a consultant who bought the mailing lists for $1,800. The result was an increase in new pledges of about 22 percent, the Camera reported.

The university then adopted a new mailing policy which prevents release of names and addresses of students until three weeks after school has started. Ron Stomp, vice chancellor for student affairs, says the goal wasn't to curb pledging but to prevent families from being inundated with mail.

"We'd get complaints from families who said, 'We are getting so much in the mail. Can you do something about it?"' Stump said.

A panel will review requests for the information and can refuse them.Mark Stine, consultant for the fraternities, said they would file an open-records request for the information.

"The university has rules and regulations for students' welfare. We understand that. We do, too. We just want to be treated like everybody else. The only way to make sure that is happening is by checking," he said.

Meanwhile, frat leaders are using a Web site, Facebook.com, to contact new students. The site, which focuses on college members, claims 30 million users.

Phi Kappa Phi member Eric Smith, president of the InterFraternity Council's Rush Committee, said this year's class will be even bigger than last year.Chapters also are holding barbecues and other social events and inviting freshmen. "We've been having to be a little more creative this year," Smith said.
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