Sep 172007
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

CSU has refused to comply with demands to suspend printing of the Collegian from the attorney father of two Pi Kappa Alpha (commonly called PIKE) fraternity members.

After receiving a letter Aug. 30 from lawyer John R. Linton that threatened legal action against the university if it failed to submit to his demands, the university’s legal office drafted and sent the refusal Thursday.

The legal office said in the response that CSU could not suspend publication of the Collegian because it would be a violation of the paper’s Constitutional rights.

“Because CSU is a state public institution of higher education, its student press is entitled to the full strength and scope of the First Amendment . and the university may not censor or regulate the content of such publications,” the CSU letter stated.

It also addressed allegations in the letter that CSU, the Collegian and the university’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) had infringed on the ousted fraternity’s First Amendment Rights, falsely disparaged members of PIKE in an article two weeks ago and ousted the fraternity without due process two years ago.

CSU revoked PIKE’s charter in fall of 2005 after alleged participation in what students refer to as “Rise and Ralph” parties in which fraternity and sorority members drank in the early morning until they vomited, sources said.

The university and IFC held a fact-finding hearing after the drinking parties with every organization that participated in the parties. The university’s letter stated that PIKE’s affiliation was terminated due to previous repeated violations of Greek Life policy.

The Fort Collins PIKE chapter still has a charter through the national organization.

Earlier this semester, a Collegian article reported that four members of the fraternity were caught recruiting in the residence halls during freshmen move-in, a university-sponsored event.

Unaffiliated Greek organizations are not allowed to recruit during Greek Life-sponsored events like campus move-in, said Jarred Quintana, president of IFC.

Several other universities recently had similar problems with their PIKE chapters.

Arizona State University and PIKE’s national chapter revoked the fraternity’s charter two years ago because of “multiple code of conduct violations,” ASU’s Office of Public Relations said.

The University of Florida ousted PIKE because of drinking at a PIKE-hosted barbeque, the Independent Florida Alligator reported in August.

Linton, who is currently out of town, has not yet received CSU’s written response.

University officials were unable to comment due to insufficient information.

President of Fort Collins’ PIKE chapter, T.J. Sheahen, did not return phone messages from the Collegian.

Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com

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