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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Delta Chi efforts halted after suspension

“The best part of Shoebox Recycling, aside from recycling shoes, is that our whole goal is connecting people,” said Lisa Pomerantz, so-called Queen of Soles at Shoebox Recycling company, which began collaborating with the UA chapter of the Delta Chi fraternity earlier this month.

Her statement went from inspirational to ironic in a matter of days. Rather than fostering a connection, this story has exposed miscommunication and misunderstanding between greek organizations and the Dean of Students Office, forcing Delta Chi’s project with the recycling company to a screeching halt.

I started reporting on this story after the Daily Wildcat received an email from a proud parent indicating the UA chapter of Delta Chi had begun a partnership with Shoebox Recycling. The fraternity would be the first organization in Arizona to collaborate with the company, and it would launch its new campuswide initiative on March 26.

For every pound of unwanted shoes it collected from the UA community, Delta Chi would receive 50 cents from Shoebox Recycling. Meanwhile, the company would distribute the shoes to customers worldwide for reuse.

“What a great way to get back into the community,” said Daniel Cooper, a member of Delta Chi and political science sophomore. “I think it’s a great way to show that we’re not just a fraternity. We care.”

Suddenly, Cooper’s tone changed from one of excitement to one of hesitation. He leaned forward. Delta Chi is “on probation,” he said, so he and another Delta Chi member are spearheading the project, “sort of.” Perplexed, I looked to Cooper for clarification only to see that he was just as puzzled as I was.

I later discovered that Delta Chi is not on probation, but “interim suspension.” In other words, Delta Chi is not, for the moment, a recognized UA fraternity.

In fact, the UA chapter has been suspended since March 2, when it received a letter from the Dean of Students Office indicating it is under investigation, according to Johanne Ives, assistant dean of students and director for Fraternity and Sorority Programs.

The results of the case will determine whether or not the university revokes the chapter’s status. Until the Dean of Students Office reaches a verdict, the details of the case cannot be disclosed and Delta Chi must cease all organized activity, including its shoe-recycling fundraiser.

This didn’t make sense to Alex Argos, Delta Chi president.

“It don’t see how the school can take away a fundraiser. I don’t even think it’s legal,” he said. “It just boggles my mind! I mean, what are we here for?”

Delta Chi didn’t understand what it could and could not do as a chapter during the investigation, he said. Pomerantz and Shoebox Recycling were also unaware.

“I would hope they (university officials) would recognize that Delta Chi is trying to do something good for their fraternity, for their school, for Arizona and for people,” Pomerantz said. However, if the Dean of Students Office decides the fraternity can’t go through with the fundraiser, the company will heed its decision.

Once it became clear that Delta Chi and the Dean of Students Office weren’t on the same page, I turned to other fraternities to explain the disconnect. When it comes to communication regarding Greek Life investigations, “vague” seems to be the name of the game.

“You’re kind of left in the dark until they (university officials) understand all of the facts,” said Pi Kappa Alpha President Charles Eisner, a junior studying family studies and human development. Eisner said he thinks the university withholds details to prevent false accusations, but in reality, doing so throws the Greeks into limbo.

Stuck somewhere between fully-functional fraternity life and a greek graveyard, fraternities may struggle to fulfill their role on campus. Some chapter members may not understand the UA’s policies, breaking rules they are unaware of and endangering the entire fraternity.

Still, ignorance is no excuse, and in the end, what the Dean of Students Office says goes.

“If they tell us we can’t do something, then we’re going to listen and take that to heart,” Eisner said.

Delta Chi has followed suit. It put the shoe-recycling project on hold until the case is closed and the chapter’s status is determined. The Dean of Students Office could reinstate the chapter and allow it to continue with the fundraiser, or it could nix the fraternity’s UA recognition all together.

But I may never hear the end of that story. I received an email from Argos Friday evening, and from what I gathered, he wants me stay out of his chapter’s business:

“Savanna (sic),

The daily wildcat does not need to be involved and should not be involved in anything about your (sic) chapter being on suspension or in trouble, the only thing that you should even consider writing about would be our fundraiser, That is all, it would be best for you to leave our investigation private between myself and Johanne (Ives). Thanks again, Alex”

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