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Frats Under the Gun

If Phil thinks that alumni who were once brothers of Dartmouth’s fraternities will be supporting his capital campaign, he has another thing coming:

From: Dartmouth Beta

Subject: Beta - 2017 Reunions
Date: 12 June 2017 at 17:07:41 BST

Dear Beta Brothers attending Reunions this year,

While we’re greatly looking forward to having you back in Hanover for Reunions, we are unfortunately obligated to update you on the sad state of affairs at Dartmouth.

The executive summary is we will NOT be able to host any parties or drinking of any kind at Beta over Reunions. The house is still on probation and the College has jumped the shark regarding rules, restrictions and (death) penalties for Greek organizations. Unfortunately, the future of the house is at risk if there is any alcohol at the house.

If you would like to visit the house, please text, call or email Sam Siegel ‘19 at (201) 753-0727 or

I ask you to please read the statement below from our tireless warrior and House Advisor, Dimitri Gerakaris ‘69.

With thanks for your understanding,

Scott Sipple ‘84
Beta Trustees

Dimitri Gerakaris ‘69 Statement

We all very much look forward to those of you returning for a reunion in Hanover! I hope you get to meet some of the handful of today’s Betas who may be around between terms as I am sure you guys will hit it off. Membership in Beta is highly prized and the most recent rush (last winter) produced 35 new Brothers! With D Plan, we try to keep it to about 30 per year, but these were all quality guys who could simply not be denied.

That said, I have to warn you this is not the same Dartmouth you left. The students, and especially the Greek houses, are under incredible social scrutiny and pressure, some would say “assault”. As you may have heard, SAE and AD are gone and the College is making it clear they mean “FOREVER”. They go so far as to say that under the new plan, “Beta would not have been re-recognized”.

Our guys, although long held as a model house, recently suffered a two term suspension, no fall rush, and are now completing the ensuing two terms of probation until the beginning of Summer Term. I will not go into particulars, but almost all agree the penalty was amazingly excessive.

Long story short: although you will be most welcomed to have a look inside the house with some of the undergraduates, there can be no drinking of any alcohol on any Beta property, inside or out, or the future of the house can be put into a tailspin.

It grieves us to have to tell you this. We all feel some cleaning up of Greek life was long overdue, but we are also all hoping for a change in the future that will bring a more reasonable and balanced attitude towards the Greek system and the return of visiting alums. I have secured permission for the 50th reunion class of ‘67 to swing by for a beer or wine and meet the seniors and their parents for an afternoon reception, but that is it as far as alcohol at reunions go for the time being.

We owe it to our guys to not torpedo the house and to keep it going for generations of future Betas. Many thanks for your understanding!

All the dorms and houses are now equipped with combination locks on the doors, so if a knock on the door does not rouse a student, please feel free to contact Sam Siegel ‘19 at (201) 753-0727 or - and the more advance you give him, the better chance he will be able to let you in.

Yours in -kai-

Dimitri Gerakaris ‘69
Beta House Advisor

People react badly to policies with which they disagree, but unfairness elicits a much stronger reaction.

Addendum: A young alumnus writes in:

One nuance to your point this morning regarding Phil’s upcoming capital campaign - I feel that Phil will only slightly realize the negative effects of his own presidency. The reality is that those Alumni whom Phil presumably cares most about in regards to his capital campaign only remember Dartmouth fondly — the Dartmouth which they attended (and which was not ruled by Tyrant Hanlon and his minions, Ameer et al).

One need only look at the senior class gift participation rates in recent years to understand that Phil is dooming the college for the long haul by creating a disengaged alumni base for whoever may be the President of the College 20 or 30 years from now (God help us with who that may be with our current trajectory).

As someone who falls in the category of “not wealthy enough yet to make the College notice or care” and yet forever unwilling to give to the current Administration and with the current state of affairs, I can assure you that I am not alone and there are not few of us. While Phil feels the need to legislate behavior on those he feels are too young, irresponsible and naive to make their own decisions, he forgets that the College will need those same people to pay the bills down the line. Unfortunately, it is not Phil who will feel the effects of the problem, which he and he alone has created.

Addendum: A senior member of the faculty writes in:

The letter you printed from Beta today unknowingly reveals the deepest flaw in the Greek system. Speaking of the newest brothers, it says, “but these were all quality guys who could simply not be denied.” How can anyone at Dartmouth make such a statement? I was under the impression that all Dartmouth admittees are “quality guys.” What kind of “quality” are they looking for? Quality at the beer pong table? Quality in attracting and bedding hot chicks? Academic or intellectual quality doesn’t seem to be involved or fraternities like Beta wouldn’t be in trouble. Again, this is the heart of the problem: a system that permits immature students to derail their education at the start by means of such superficial and damaging judgments about with whom they’ll spend most of their time.

Addendum: A quick reply arrived to the previous faculty post:

I hate to pile on again, but I am utterly stunned at the latest faculty member addendum. It defies all logic and reason — how can someone, in the same paragraph, admit they know not the qualities that Greek houses select on, and simultaneously argue that such qualities they select on have led to the downfall of the Greek system?! Surely, this cannot be a member of the Dartmouth faculty.

Said member of the faculty also clearly did not read your post a few days ago regarding AD’s member-base (non-arguably, the most in-trouble group on campus), so I will repost the academic accomplishments of the group, and I will challenge the professor to find any organized group of ~30 students on campus that can claim similar credentials (by his logic, these students were even able to accomplish as much in spite of themselves!):

“In addition, three ADs graduated Phi Beta Kappa - Chris Brown, Jordan Gershman, and Drew Field. Nine others graduated either Magna Cum Laude or Cum Laude. Fully one third of the AD Class of 2017 graduated with honors.

Brendan Barth was the class marshal at the commencement ceremony and the recipient of the Timothy Wright Ellis Award. Chris Brown was the recipient of the Economics Department Outstanding Achievement Award, and Malachi Price won the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Prize.

Nearly every ‘17 has a job waiting for him, or has been accepted to graduate school (2 med school, one law school).

Not bad for a group that the College would rather just disappear.”

Addendum: An alumnus has a comment:

Dartblog has reported that the GPAs of affiliated and unaffiliated students are not significantly different: female affiliated 3.53; male affiliated 3.42; all unaffiliated 3.47. Where then is the basis for the professor’s claim that affiliated students are academically inferior?

Addendum: An alumnus writes in about a comment above from a senior member of the faculty:

“Again, this is the heart of the problem: a system that permits immature students to derail their education at the start by means of such superficial and damaging judgments about with whom they’ll spend most of their time.”

Did I misread this? God forbid that 18-year old students be allowed to choose their own friends without the College’s approval…


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