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Editorial: Greek community deserves honesty, fairness

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
August 30, 1999

When a student joins a fraternity or sorority at the UA, members of the house demand loyalty, honesty, trust and respect.

At Alpha Chi Omega, however, it appears that those demands do not extend to everyone and certainly don't reciprocate from top house officials.

According to Arika Hover, a former Alpha Chi Omega sorority member, newcomers to the organization were not told that the sorority was thousands of dollars in debt.

And it must have been a huge surprise when financial problems led house officials to lease its property to the University of Arizona. The building, located at 1775 E. First St., has since been renamed Parker House and turned into a residence hall.

While the sorority's leaders believe that Alpha Chi Omega will escape its debts, Hover - who last week decided that the organization's skeletons were becoming too overbearing and bravely spoke to a Wildcat reporter - said the sorority is doomed.

"The whole sorority, it's gone," she said. "No one's going to want to help them. They're kidding themselves if they think it's going to get better."

Hover also spoke of alleged hazing within the sorority.

During initiation, Hover said she was asked various questions. If she answered incorrectly, her "sisters" would make her injure herself with either a knife, hammer or a phallic sexual object.

And once again, the incident went unreported to UAPD and another despicable crime went unpunished.

Still, the demise of one sorority at the UA is not such a tragedy.

It's the fact that lying and cover-ups apparently took place in Alpha Chi Omega. Moreover, it's the blatant disrespect shown by the organization's leaders for their "sisters."

Campus organizations are expected to act as businesses.

When a business is in serious financial trouble and its employees are feeling harassed and uncomfortable in their environment, management is supposed to fully disclose the problems and work toward a solution.

However, Alpha Chi Omega officials proved that once again, a greek house has decided that it is above the law and can ignore the rules that most businesses abide by.

In addition, UA officials in charge of overseeing the greek community must take more control and become better watchdogs.

Bob Gordon, the university's coordinator of Greek Life, told a reporter that he was unfamiliar with Alpha Chi Omega's financial instability.

The fact that the main adviser for greek students had no idea that Alpha Chi Omega was $40,000 in debt is absolutely unacceptable.

Again, no tears should be shed that Alpha Chi Omega is virtually non-existent.

But the freshmen and sophomores who were shafted in this apparent fraud deserve our sympathies.

Those students, who decided to better their UA experience by joining the greek community, were cheated out of a good experience because the sorority's officials decided they were above the law.

And the incompetence shown by UA officials who did not fulfill their roles as watchdogs over Alpha Chi Omega and other houses is inexcusable.

It's time for fraternity and sorority leaders to extend the same courtesies that they expect - loyalty, honesty and trust - to their members.

Covering up a financial nightmare shows nothing but disrespect.

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