Inter-Greek Council (IGC) President PJ Spigner, a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity, has resigned after facing allegations of “dirty rushing” from the presidents of the seven social fraternities.
Dirty rushing consists of a Greek member bad-mouthing another Greek organization to a potential new member, according to Dan Adami, president of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity. The elements of dirty rushing are described in IGC’s constitution.
According to Spigner, a prospective member at a Phi Kappa Psi meeting said Spigner had dirty rushed him.
Spigner said that IGC was “not correct in their interpretation of the constitution” and that he was “never afforded the opportunity to present a rebuttal or any collaborating evidence of (his) own.”
Though Adami did not mention Phi Kappa Psi as the fraternity that had brought the allegations, he confirmed that Spigner had been accused of dirty rushing. “He said he didn’t do it,” Keith Jeronimus, president of Phi Kappa Psi said, “but we had numerous witnesses.”
“The allegations were brought forth to the board and we had an emergency executive board meeting,” Alex Sanchez, IGC’s vice president for public relations said. Members listened to both sides and then deliberated without Spigner present, according to Jon Muscillo, vice president of standards and conduct.
The executive board, with help from John Stout, the fraternity and sorority programs director, decided to offer Spigner the chance to resign.
“He was impeached for other reasons than just (dirty rushing),” but that was the culminating factor, according to Jeronimus. “I was told there were many other factors,” he said. “Everything culminated, and it was time for him to get out,” Jeronimus said.
Stout, in an advisory capacity, said he had nothing to do with the decision and that it belonged solely to IGC’s executive board. “It is my job to guide (IGC) in fulfilling its mission and following its policies,” Stout said. “It is not within my responsibilities, or my nature, to pass judgment on any organization or individual. Concerns were raised by the Greek community, and the IGC executive board members elected to address those concerns resolved the matter.”
The executive board informed Spigner of the decision, according to Sanchez, and explained the reasoning behind it. He accepted the opportunity to step down.
“I truly believe leadership and the ability to lead is derived from the faith of those who are being led, and because of the loss of faith by a certain organization, I felt that it was right for me to resign,” Spigner said.
If Spigner had not chosen to resign, Sanchez said the board “would had to have gone through the procedure to remove him.”
Muscillo said, “We try to use judicial matters as a last resort.”
Before members of the seven social fraternities explained their concerns about Spigner to IGC after a weekly meeting, the presidents of the fraternities had a short meeting, according to Adami. Though Adami could not make it, he sent a representative. “The conclusion made at the end of that meeting . was that they would bring up the allegations of dirty rushing with the IGC (executive) board.”
Prior to the meeting, Spigner said, Phi Kappa Psi approached the Inter-Fraternity Committee (IFC) to report Spigner had dirty rushed a new member. Spigner denied the accusation and said that the new member also said Spigner had never dirty rushed Phi Kappa Psi.
IFC, according to Spigner, said the actions were unbecoming. “Which I agree, they are unbecoming, if they were true,” Spigner said.
After this, the issue went to IGC.
“The (fraternity presidents) presented us with their allegations, and said, if need be, they would show us proof,” Sanchez said.
After seeing the evidence, Sanchez said they decided to call an emergency executive board meeting. Six of the social fraternity presidents were there, though there was at least one member from each fraternity present.
There are five types of Greek organizations on campus, all of which are represented by the IGC: Social fraternities and sororities, multicultural fraternities and sororities and co-educational fraternities. A social fraternity is designated by its membership in that group’s national organization.
“Our number one priority is to serve the Greek community the best we can,” Sanchez said. “We hope they’re happy with our decision.”
Sanchez also said that he had heard some members of the board were surprised at the events. One of them was Lucy Pacius, Theta Nu Xi’s IGC representative. “I didn’t know him personally but he seemed like a good president,” she said.
The only information given to the general board, according to Pacius, was that he resigned due to misconduct. IGC announced the resignation to the board at its Feb. 22 meeting.
There had also been a previous incident, according to Adami, involving a beer pong tournament at Spigner’s house for rushes, “which is obviously against the rush bylaws,” Adami said.
“The worst part was that PJ was the one to begin such strict enforcement of the dry recruitment bylaws,” Adami said. “We really had a zero tolerance policy going and then we find out the person enforcing it was the one breaking it.”
Spigner said the incident “had nothing to do with IGC and my resignation.”
During his time as president, Spigner said, the number of Greek-related transports declined and “we started (to) work with the community to end bad neighbor relations.”
“I am proud to say that I served my fellow Greeks and that I made a difference,” Spigner said.
Transport is an unofficial term used to identify the most serious incidents involving alcohol, according to Stout. In these instances, the student is so dangerously intoxicated that he/she is determined to be a health risk by the professional staff on-scene. The student is then “transported” via ambulance to the hospital to receive appropriate medical attention.
IGC follows an order of succession, described in the group’s constitution when the president vacates the position. The position is first offered to the vice president of standards and conduct, who is Muscillo, but he declined it.
It is then offered to the vice president for rush and member development, Bryan Vale, who accepted the position. Currently IGC awaits confirmation of his GPA, which must be a 2.5, the minimum required for all student leaders. Until that information is available, Muscillo is acting president.
For Vale to become president, two-thirds of the general council must vote for him.
Sanchez said they intend to have the vote “as soon as possible,” and Muscillo said he expects it to be within a week or two.
If he does not get the vote needed, IGC follows the order of succession and offers the position to the next person on the list, the vice president for programming, Kristin Auci.