I have no problem with the general notion of Beta's re-recognition, and certainly not with the desire of its alumni to see it return, but the college's handling of the situation has been terrible.
The administration's decision to reinstate Beta violates two major policies of the college. First, there are clear rules for the recognition of Greek organizations:
The following recognition policies and process apply to all new or returning organizations…Returning organizations are those who 1) once existed at Dartmouth and closed for non-disciplinary reasons; or 2) once existed at Dartmouth but as the result of disciplinary action were closed for a period of time with the opportunity to return at a future date clearly articulated as part of the disciplinary action.
Second, the college does not allow new or returning Greek organizations to receive recognition without a national affiliation. After being de-recognized at Dartmouth, Beta national revoked the chapter's charter. Today, Beta national is dry and so if Dartmouth Beta wants to rejoin, presumably they would need to follow those rules. The college is allowing Beta to be re-recognized therefore in clear violation of its rules mandating that fraternities be nationally affiliated. The Dartmouth article had the following:
Sipple [co-chairman of the Beta Board of Trustees] said that while the alumni group’s ultimate goal is to rejoin with Beta national, they are prepared to work with future members to determine if affiliation with a different national organization would better suit the needs of the group. It is College policy to only allow the addition of national fraternities and sororities to campus.Does anybody believe this? Clearly, Dartmouth's Beta chapter is not going to go dry. And if they affiliate with another national, what really would be the point of re-recognition? They won't be Beta anymore. I would bet anybody that in ten years time Beta remains unaffiliated.
But what is the real problem with the administration breaking their own rules? First, CFS policies represent a sort of unofficial contract between the college and Greek organizations. If a house breaks them, they face probation and de-recognition. It is therefore very hypocritical for Dean Redman to claim that there is no problem with the college's disregard for their policies.
Furthermore, two years ago, a group of women organized in the hopes of forming a seventh sorority, what today is now thriving as Alpha Phi. They petitioned the college to allow it to form temporarily as a local sorority, promising to affiliate with a national as soon as an acceptable national organization was found. The same administrators who waived the rules for Beta this week refused to do so for the women. And this came at a time when a seventh sorority was desperately needed. The college is willing to be flexible with its rules for its disgraced fraternity but not to do so for the group of women who were well-intentioned and addressing a greater campus need. The lack of consistency - and integrity - with these decisions is appalling.
We all know it's about the money of course. But shouldn't the college stand on principles?