Interfraternity Council holds special elections

Special elections held after two members of the IFC resign due to previous membership of Phi Kappa Psi

Virginia Freedman

The Interfraternity Council held special elections March 17, after two of its members were required to resign from their positions.

After President Ken Ruscio’s decision to extend Phi Kappa Psi’s suspension to three years for violating the University’s policy on hazing, Daniel Pesin, ’16, and Mac Trammel, ’17, had to step down from their offices because of their previous membership of Phi Kappa Psi.

Pesin and Trammel served as vice president and junior justice, respectively.

“We thought the IFC’s decision was fair and reasonable,” Pesin said. “We weren’t expecting an additional decision from President Ruscio.”

Special elections were held to fill the positions of senior and junior justice, in which the IFC executive body members and chapter presidents individually casted a vote for his preferred candidate after each made a speech.

Chris Camerota, ’16, and Will Edmonds, ’17, were elected to the positions of senior and junior justice, respectively.

Chris Ahn , ’16, former senior justice, was chosen as the new vice president in an internal vote.

According to its constitution, IFC officers must be members of Greek fraternities recognized by the Student Affairs Committee.

The IFC has the ability to assign sanctions up to and including expulsion regarding any issue relating to fraternities.

“The intention of the IFC’s decision to suspend Phi Kappa Psi for a year and a half was to allow fraternity leadership to turnover,” Moody Heard, ’16, current president of the IFC, said, “While still allowing for current sophomores to lead a re-colonization effort if they so chose at the beginning of the 2016 school year.”

On March 11, President Ruscio extended the fraternity’s suspension to three years, double the time the IFC decided.

“It was a specific act that occurred in a climate of intimidation that existed throughout the fraternity’s new member education program,” Ruscio said in a message to the community.

Ruscio’s alteration of the IFC’s verdict has caused some controversy.

As of March 21, the results of an online poll conducted by the Ring-Tum Phi showed 53 percent of 2,788 respondents believed Ruscio did not overstep his authority. The six percent difference in polls was made up of 186 votes.

Members of Phi Kappa Psi on the IFC did not involve themselves in the investigation, which was prompted by an anonymous online report sent to the University.

Heard declined to comment when asked about his opinion on Ruscio’s decision, but said he was aware of the concerns expressed by members of the W&L community regarding the issue.