May 28, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Psi Upsilon Has Been Punished Enough

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To the Editor:

On May 25, The Sun reported that Cornell University has expelled the Psi Upsilon fraternity for three years effective immediately, as a result of two recent incidents. I believe this action represents the culmination of an abusive campaign the University has conducted against the fraternity following the alleged sexual assault at the fraternity this past January.

This summary executive action follows shortly on the heels of a Review Board’s determination that Psi Upsilon should be permitted to remain at Cornell and exonerating Psi Upsilon from any responsibility for the alleged assault. This arbitrary action imperils the independence and undermines the autonomy of every student group at Cornell. On a more personal note, it unfairly punishes the members of Psi U and their families.

While the difficulty of the position the University found itself in dealing with alleged assault is not to be underestimated, enough is enough of this matter as far as the fraternity itself is concerned. The University should rescind the May 25 letter, adopt the findings of the Review Board and close the book on this matter.

Immediately following the Jan. 31 alleged sexual assault, Travis Apgar, Senior Associate Dean of Students, on behalf of the University, placed the chapter under interim suspension, notwithstanding the fact that there was never any allegation that the fraternity was involved in any way. This unfairness was compounded by several months of foot-dragging after which the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs dredged up a laundry list of years-old social complaints — totally unrelated to the alleged assault — apparently searching for a reason to keep the fraternity on lock-down through the entire semester.  When “hearings” were finally held, Psi Upsilon was unsurprisingly cleared of any responsibility for the Jan. 31 incident. And nothing came of the laundry list — except for the Review Board’s endorsement of the Chapter’s commitment to continue monitoring compliance with applicable rules and regulations and to introduce meaningful reforms meant to make fraternity membership healthier and more sustainable.

On May 5, Dean Apgar notified representatives of the fraternity that Psi Upsilon “will continue to operate in the Fall” and that “these representatives should be sure to communicate this to the membership because there were family members anxiously waiting to know if they need to find other living arrangements.” The fraternity understood the prohibition against scheduled parties remained in effect, though one might ask why the interim suspension was being continued at that time. It is hard to ignore the likelihood that this was simply a further stalling tactic to continue to run the clock on the semester for the boys.

Not that the fraternity hadn’t been punished already. No social events had been permitted all second semester, and no new pledges were permitted for the following year.

Three weeks after effectively dropping the inquisition, Dean Apgar and Kent Hubbell, Dean of Students, totally and summarily reversed the University’s position in a May 25 letter on the basis of two incidents that are clearly not deserving of the harsh discipline being imposed.

First is the circulation of a “social media image” of a shirt with the words “too big to fail” with the text “WGBA” superimposed in the image, factors that The Sun did not report. Perhaps even the editors at The Sun could not take the proposition seriously that the University would kick a fraternity off campus on the basis of an unsourced social media image? Where are we living? North Korea?

Who posted the picture, and whose shirt was it? Dean Apgar and Dean Hubbell have no idea nor does it appear to matter to them. What does “WGBA” mean? The letter leaps to “Wolfgang Ballinger,” but doesn’t consider that it may have meant “we gonna be alright” from the rap song by Kendrick Lamar, a song most of the students on campus would be familiar with. The letter also asserts that the WGBA text was “likely intended to create a hostile atmosphere on campus for the complainant and other female students.” Where does that come from?

The Review Board came to a wholly different conclusion. They found that there was no information that suggested that the chapter promoted or facilitated any sexual misconduct on Jan. 31, that Psi Upsilon’s members responded to the complainant appropriately when the complainant approached the members, and that the Chapter cooperated with the authorities to the best of their ability.

Apparently Dean Apgar and Dean Hubbell don’t need to be burdened by the facts or the real impact of the shirt, and they certainly don’t have any use for free speech even if the worst were to be assumed. What has become of our college campuses?

And the second offense? On Slope Day, a day of universal and chaotic celebration for the entire Cornell campus, students spontaneously gathered at the fraternity after other scheduled parties surrounding the fraternity broke up, the biggest of which was University-sponsored and located only yards from the fraternity’s front door. University Police were called to disperse the attendees.

OMG. Students gathered at the fraternity on Slope Day — after the fraternity had been notified that the inquiries were over, the kangaroo court was dismissed and business would go on as usual. Notwithstanding whether the gathering should have mattered regardless of how it came about, Dean Apgar and Dean Hubbell have not bothered to inquire into whether the fraternity had actually “scheduled” an event or any of the other circumstances, and have eliminated the role of the Review Board.

Instead, they label this a “flagrant” violation of the order of a university official. The University’s methods are now clear — punishment first, trial (if ever) later. Kick the fraternity off, compelling the members to make very costly and impetuous alternate housing arrangements, after the semester has concluded and after the brotherhood has left Ithaca for the term. Not to mention the chapter’s staff who now have to scramble to find alternate employment. The 15 days offered to the fraternity to appeal the decision will likely be of little value.

The real issue here is, and has always been, how can Cornell deal with drinking on campus and keeping its students safe. That is a serious issue, and deserves continuous serious attention. But the University’s scapegoating of Psi Upsilon will not really address that problem and appears to be simply a mean-spirited attack on a small group of perfectly normal college students who have behaved the way that college students have for decades.

And if this is about the alleged sexual assault, then the action is even more misguided. Both the Review Board and an independent investigation the fraternity’s alumni leadership commissioned determined that Psi Upsilon’s members handled the unfortunate situation responsibly and bore no culpability for the alleged incident. The University’s failure to publish these facts has been a disservice to the members and permits the continued speculation that the Chapter is somehow responsible for or complicit in this incident. 

The expulsion leaves that unwarranted conclusion inevitable as the recent comments on the Sun’s webpage confirm. This compounds the unfairness to the boys and their reputations, and is unworthy of an esteemed institution.

Andrew Quartner

Father of Jeremy Quartner ’17, Melissa Quartner ’12 and William Quartner ’10

92 thoughts on “LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Psi Upsilon Has Been Punished Enough

  1. Since the University owns the house, there is nothing you can do . DU and several other fraternities have the same situation. A shame. Insurance and lawyers are driving the issue. A real kobayashi Maru. Where is Jansen Noyes when you need him? See you in three years, hopefully.

    • What relevance does “affluenza” have at all? What about a fraternity is “affluent” – or are you taking a stab at your alma mater Cornell, one of the most affluent institutions in the world. Moreover l, “sweet tears” – these are children’s lives and Cornell expieremces, not to mention the cost of finding new housing at this time in the year is astronomical given then university housing lottery has passed. You clearly lack any capacity at all for compassion. Shame on you.

      • “These are children’s lives” – so were the numerous women that have been raped or drugged there. And don’t act like the guys who didn’t actually participate in that stuff didn’t know it was going on, because the whole campus knew those things were going on.
        CALS alum was alluding to the fact that Psi U, in particular, is comprised almost exclusively of boys from extremely wealthy families. Also, living on Campus via the housing lottery is far more expensive than living off campus.

        • These are pretty baseless accusations for someone claiming to be stating “facts”. Any factual evidence for these “numerous” occurances are welcome. I would be willing to bet that in fact “the whole campus” knows not the rule truth but biased rumors

          • The fifty women who accused Bill Cosby of raping them won’t be able to provide any factual evidence either, I guess you think he’s innocent too?

          • It’s interesting, it sounds like there is some Daddy’s PR team behind both this letter to the editor (which the sun has probably been strong armed into publishing) and the carefully calculated responses in the comments section. Truly astonishing how many individuals can get behind this kind of conduct. This story is spun so hard but I sincerely hope the individuals trying to get away with this don’t actually succeed.

        • I can promise you that the brothers of Psi U are not drugging girls – purely because they love their drugs to the point that they would never consider sharing them!

      • 70 perecent of Psi U from private schools
        20 percent on financial aid

        vs
        Cornell numbers
        20 percent from private schools
        70 percent on some financial aid

        • 1. So what? That’s irrelevant as to whether they were treated unfairly. Or are you suggesting that anyone who pays full freight at Cornell deserves to be punished somehow?

          2. How did you come up with Psi U’s numbers? How would you know what percent of their members get financial aid?

  2. Such a tragedy. These poor, innocent boys are really just victims of the scores of rape accusations, accounts of drugging girls’ drinks, and countless reports of creepy encounters at their fraternity! Shameful that this ‘small group of perfectly normal college students’, from all walks of Connecticut, Westchester, Manhattan, and Bethesda, should be forced to suffer the damages from these countless lies!

    If you ask me, there is only one logical explanation for the fact that so many accusations of disgusting behavior have been circulating around Cornell these past years: every single one of the girls that claim to be victims are liars! Just ask anyone in Psi U, they lived there so they would know. They’ll be sure to tell you there has never been any creepy behavior there!

    What’s worse is that they have such a bad reputation (as a result of these disgusting lies) that they don’t know who they can trust or turn to for support amongst their peers. If only they could find some rich and powerful people that do not attend the university so that their opinion is not swayed by these horrible rumors! People, ideally, that are blinded by familial bias and care much more about these poor, poor boys than the (alleged!) victims of their fraternity’s multiple (alleged!) rapists and complementary apologists! A rich Daddy, maybe!

    Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case for these tortured souls. This article is clearly not written by an out-of-touch protective father without care nor knowledge of the circumstances and the actions of the members of Psi U. This, my friends, is a fine piece of impartial, rigorous journalism! I recommend you read it twice!

    • Where are you getting “multiple” from? In the past Sun article it stated “found the group had no involvement in the accusations” – these are pretty overt biased/charged statements that clearly have no factual base. Your comments, my friend, are a fine piece of impartial, rigorous journalism!

      • I take it you don’t attend Cornell. This guy clearly is not only alluding to the fact the Wolfgang Ballinger, their elected president, is a rapist. Psi U has a super creepy reputation and there have been way too many whispers of rape and other disgusting stuff happening at their fraternity.

        Every year I’ve been here I’ve heard at least one story of another girl being raped there, and I have nothing to do with Psi U, so I can only assume there are more such stories. On top of that, there was that incident last year where they were claimed to have drugged a group of girls at a party. The list goes on and on.

        At some point, you have to wonder which explanation is more plausible: either all these stories are made up (why would so many people make up these rumors? they have nothing to gain by claiming rape), or Psi U is full of a bunch of creeps. A very large portion of campus believes it is the latter.

        • I actually am a student here and quite active in Greek life. The accusations are no different than anything you hear about other groups – DU, Lambda, basketball… It seems to me psi u just had a target on their back

    • Haha you make fun of these boys calling up their daddies and yet I wonder how far you would have gotten without the support of your parents. Let’s face it, you have no claims to support your absurd statements. Multiple accounts, if there were multiple accounts this fraternity would have been kicked off the campus years ago. The university had one case in which the girl’s identity was kept anonymous, any other girls would be given the same treatment. Yet we only have one case in which the university, along with the help of police, cleared the brothers of any involvement.

      Your treatment for fellow Cornell students is disgraceful. I hope that one day you will experience what its like to have people treat you differently over made up allegations that hold no supporting evidence.

      Let’s face it, this house was always ostracized. The difference now is that everyone can use Psi U as a scapegoat to unload their anger towards fraternities, their exclusivity, jealousy, etc. The crusade towards conformity is on the way. Let’s see which house falls next.

  3. This article would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. Either this dad is completely oblivious to the heinous operations of this house, or he is intentionally attempting to brush their shadiness under the table. Either way, it’s a joke.

    • The dad just seems like a loving father band capable lawyer who is more focused on the procedural shortcomings of the university than the larger issues that are the topics of most of these comments. Procedurally, does sound pretty damn fishy. Morally, there’s a conversation to continue for all of Greek life – especially psi u and other institutions whose behavior attracts negative attention to say the least.

  4. These comments are so sad and biased. Clearly anti fraternity sentiment will dominate the voices as people are comfortable bashing this fraternity behind their anonymous names based on little more than tumors and Cornell’s continued demonization of Greek life. Sexual assault is an issue on any campus, not just fraternities. Shall we ignore the heinous act of the basketball team that already been settled in the legal system

  5. As a graduate of Cornell and past Psi U, it is frustrating to read these accounts from both sides. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately for these boys, they were treading on thin ice. The University came down as the boys knew it would. Time to face the music and stop hiding behind letters from influential fathers and alumni. Important life lesson.

  6. Sarcasm aside, twice over, your lack of insight an ability to see the problem and offer real solutions leads one to believe you are just one of the larger group that sits idly by approving of the king’s new clothes. Yes, there is a problem. But if say a member of Balch hall is accused of rape, do you tell the entire building to get out, find new housing? Where is the vaunted human compassion?? Ability to reason and cut to the quick, see the solution that serves the greater good? Ezra visualized “anyone….., in any field….” Don’t be so quick to condemn all. The current administration is more content with throwing the baby out with the bath water then dealing with the single issue. Hunter is predictable. A change is needed quickly. We need to move forward. Not back.

  7. This verdict was a long time coming, as Psi U was a disgrace to the many fraternities on campus that are hubs of brotherhood and good values.

    • Yeah, like the rapists at DU. Heroin Addicts in Alpha Delt etc. Amazing values I agree. Get your head out of your ass before you talk

      • So you think that three out of 30 houses (Psi U, DU, and Alpha Delt) have questionable house culture? Cool, that means that 9/10 have less than questionable culture. As was said, most houses have good culture and values, but not all.

        • Just saying as a member of a fraternity – not one of the three in your superb statistical analysis – the whole Greek system is under strain with brothers and alums struggling to maintain the values and brotherhood that has always been the best part of Greek life

  8. While the review board may have determined that the chapter had no involvement in the sexual assault and took all the right actions following the assault, the brotherhood (or at least a few members) showed extremely poor judgement in ordering the “Too Big to Fail” slope day shirts, and then sending snapchats of them to sisters in the same sorority of the girl who was assaulted on January 31st.

    When you add the slope day shirts to the fact that they were stupid enough to throw a slope day party with kegs (which are not allowed in any Cornell fraternity chapter house, a rule which OFSIL takes that very seriously) in a university owned house (which CUPD can enter without a warrant) while on interim suspension; these two actions showed the university that Psi U’s house culture is not fit for continued university recognition.

    Cornell greek life is not a fair system. Kent Hubbell, Travis Apgar, and the rest of OFSIL will use any justification they can to kick a chapter off campus, something which the Psi U brothers failed to recognize, and their actions following their review board hearing gave the university exactly what they needed. They only have themselves to blame.

    • If you read the details they received news that the suspension was lifted on May 5, before slope day. There was no keg at the “party” and I have no idea where you made up that detail from. A group of the over 40 people that live in the residence was certainly just used by the university as an excuse for a “party”. Shameful and targeted

      • An unofficial message from Travis saying that they will continue to operate in the fall is not the same as interim suspension being lifted. Look at the FIJI, there was a Cornell Chronicle article when the chapter was no longer on suspension. Psi U was still on suspension when they got in trouble on Slope Day. Targeted? Quite possibly, but the fact remains that the brothers could have just gathered at an annex in collegetown and not at the chapter house, avoiding the whole incident. You lose all chance of deniability when you choose to have the event at your chapter house.

    • I don’t know if you use snapchat but a “story” is a public image that can be viewed by anyone. It was done in very poor judgement but not targeted at any individual – likely more done as a stupid move to celebrate Travis’ May 5 email

  9. The real problem is that we generalize INDIVIDUALS by the house they’re apart of. Psi U has good kids; Psi U as an INSTITUTION, frankly, breeds elitism, animosity, and an overall hostile campus environment. While I do feel bad for the Psi U kids that were simply in the wrong house at the wrong time, I do think that Cornell, going forward, will be better off without it.

  10. Hey anonymous, grow a pair. What a lousy mis-characterization. What a joke. Hostile campus environment? Where are you living, the Mid East? Fraternity houses are loose groupings of 3 and 4 friend relationships that you make and generally keep for life. Same situation if you are a member of the Sun board, or softball or soccer or lax team member. But the frats have an additional thread. Greek letters. Shared living space. Maybe an edge on employment in the future, tho it seldom but occasionally works out. But the university is BETTER off with the relationships when they aren’t trampled on. It leads to a desire to give back, which when all is said and done, is what those who run the university want. Donors. Big donors. Not so much the 0-$25000 givers, but the 6 and 7 figure donors, who they are always trying hard to cultivate. Don’t fool yourself. College is a business. It is just that young students have a way of messing up and getting in the way of the tranquility that upper administrators are trying to maintain. And the best way for them to deal with them is remove them from the equation. Life is hard. But if you have the resources, you can make the rules. Go big Red.

    • Hmm. Sounds like you were one of the Psi U alumni shoving drugs up my nose begging me to accept my “bid for life” Freshman year. Trust me, Stephen Garcia ’76, you can’t buy our school and I think we’ll do fine without your donations/any affiliation in general.

      • 9 of cornell’s buildings are donated by Psi U big guy including both the Noyes Centers. And secondly theres no way you were ever offered a bid don’t try and boost your self esteem.

      • Wow, so you’re going to indicted a fraternity because you got picked on back in the 1970s? Come on man….grow up

  11. I hope that any company doing business with or considering doing business with Mr Quartner or his affiliated companies reads this letter and considers the public relations liabilities of doing business with someone so tone deaf to sexual assault or generally obnoxious behavior by overly indulged and poorly parented rich jag offs. If you are looking for an arrogant man who has raised such children, he appears to be your guy. Remember Cornellians, he is a Yale man.

    • Psi U was found to be not responsible for the alleged sexual assault. They were kicked off for throwing a party and a shirt with a reference to financial crisis – so what are you talking about?

    • Long live the Quartner’s! Andy is highly respected and logical and no one will say the same about your (irrelevant) commen. I know all three of his kids and you couldn’t be more wrong in your description of them – hard working, kind, responsible, pragmatic, successful, charitable, and fantastic parts of any organization/company/institution/community – your mischaracterization of individuals by the occurrence of an incident is such an embodiment of why it’s so sad how Cornell has handled the issue.

      • Tell Dad to delete his letter. Maybe Cornell administration has been too busy over graduation to notice the cocaine accusations. That could be an interesting investigation. Thanks Dad, for launching a missile before you knew where it would land. Sure your kids will appreciate the internet search results. Think before you act.

        • Lol @ believing what anonymous people can say on a comments section of an editorial. Feeding the trolls?

  12. A lot of the comments on this thread are pretty sad to read. Affluenza? Come on. The kids in Psi U deserve to at least have their side of the story shared. From all I’ve heard on the matter, the punishment does not seem to fit the crime. How do two minor events bring the punishment from “off suspension” to “off campus”? People keep referencing the “31 past incidents” but in reality, we all know, regardless of how biased toward greek life or Psi U you are, that clearly those 31 past incidents, if they carried any weight whatsoever, would have resulted in punishment beforehand. From my friends at Cornell who know guys in Psi U, it sounds like most of those incidents were minor and deemed to be harmless, if, in fact, they occurred at all. As far as the snap story is concerned, it’s pretty obviously a dumb move by whoever posted it. But since when is a photo image enough to kick an entire campus organization off campus? Even if “WGBA” means what the school interpreted it to mean (which to me seems pretty unlikely), I don’t think that merits a campus ban. Tasteless? Yes. But worth ruining the college experience of dozens of innocent individuals? Absolutely not. And let’s remember, as this letter points out, the image likely did not even mean what the administration jumped to conclusions about it meaning. As for the second offense, having a party when you’re still not fully off suspension is a pretty dumb move. But, given the occasion, the fact that people gathered at a house with such close proximity to the concert stage is not surprising at all, and Psi U’s failure to turn away friends who showed up at their house before a concert does not even come close to meaning they should be kicked off campus. As for all the other accusations on this thread, once again, come on. In reality you’re belittling the importance of matters like rape and drugging by falsely accusing entire houses who have not even been accused of anything close to this. Yes, ONE member of the house was accused of sexual assault this past semester. But as this letter points out, the school found no guilt on behalf of the organization, and acknowledges that the brothers acted very responsibly in handling the matter. Taking huge leaps to assert that the organization as a whole condones rape and drugging is an absolutely disgusting characterization to make. The people in this thread who claim Psi U has been accused of such things in the past must be mistaken. Given the heavy hand of the administration in this case, I find it VERY hard to believe that such matters would go unreported or undisciplined. The only bias I have here is being in a sorority and a fan of greek life as a whole, but as I see it, Psi Upsilon doesn’t seem to deserve this punishment.

  13. after reading all these comments, i can say some of you are right, some of you are wrong. i will say what i know as someone who is friends with multiple guys in psi u and who happened to be there during slope day. this is not to snitch on anyone but i think people should know the truth before making careless assumptions and/or defending the indefensible.

    a group of brothers in the house literally bought over 30 grams of cocaine for slope day. the previous weekend, they went down to NYC to pick it up and drove back with a bunch of vials. they had also ordered the slope day shirts way in advance and the intention was to 1. mock the sorority and 2. openly challenge cornell administration. also, i was there during their fucking party, it wasn’t a “small gathering”… there were over 150 people there easy. like, wtf???? i will say, THERE WERE NO KEGS. psi u is smart and they knew that it’s much easier to hide bottles than it is to carry and hide a bunch of kegs. also, it wasn’t an open party and thus they did not need to buy kegs for random people. i don’t hate the frat at all but rules are rules and they knowingly broke them. they openly challenged the administration and the administration didn’t fuck around, simple as that.

    furthermore, the entire house is not to blame but when a large number of your constituents stay quiet and don’t raise concerns regarding the frat’s future standing at cornell, you deserve to be punished as well.

    if this dad is going to mad at someone, be mad at the douches who went to NYC on monday to buy drugs for this exact thing. be mad at the douches who went to the liquor store next to C&C tobacco to buy dozens of handles. be mad at the douches who hyped their slope day party through social media and group texts. don’t be mad at the administration for doing its job– the job it is paid for and the job it is supposed to do as the governing authority at Cornell.

    oh, also, psi u doesn’t “rape” anymore than a lot of other frats do. this is not to absolve them of any blame but it is kind of unfair to label them solely as the rapists. what i think is their fault is that they don’t take the girls’ concerns very seriously and thus the girls end up having to go to cornell administration. in most other houses, the brothers take it somewhat seriously and launch their own “private investigation” which usually results in the accused brother AT LEAST temporarily on probation. if nothing else, to make it look like the frat cares and to hope that the victim doesn’t push it any further. psi u just doesn’t play that game and well, it’s come back to bite them in the ass.

    • I really wish I were at the party you were at? We’re you by chance on hallucinogens during the party you describe above? Because I was there, and there was no where near 150 people? I know many of the brothers personally, their schedule for slope day consisted of going to Sigma Nu.. Not promoting their own event? So I don’t know where you came up with all of that but it was quite creative especially the 30 grams of cocaine part hahahahah

    • I was at the party also. Me and a few friends headed over from the house next door without a direct invite and it was a a small gathering, definitely less than 150 people so I’m not sure where you got that from. Also the cocaine statement has no grounding whatsoever. It’s completely unrelated to the topic and is an absolutely irrational claim. Maybe you were on the car ride with them and wanted a vial or two yourself?? Also considering I have several friends in the house and did not hear of a social media blast promoting their brotherhood gathering, so your claim seems pretty errant and manic. Do you have some predisposed disdain for those guys? Pretty likely. Considering they had a new shirt the day after the incident, I highly doubt the initial shirts were ordered “several weeks in advance”. Also referencing a financial book “too big to fail” doesn’t seem to directly mock a sorority or have malicious intent, but considering the irrationality of your previous claims, your skewed interpretation could point towards that

      • Are you kidding? Too Big to Fail mocked the administration suggesting the Fraternity was too powerful to be dealt with. You are being deliberately obtuse.

  14. Are Psi U guys usually assholes? Yes. Is Cornell’s overall social scene better without them? Probably. Even so, I feel like it’s important to let everyone sharing thoughts here know that, as the letter says, both Cornell’s investigation and a separate investigation conducted by Psi U’s alumni found that the overall fraternity (with the obvious and glaring exception of their president) was NOT INVOLVED IN ANY WAY with the sexual assault. Their punishment is not due to “rapists getting what they deserved,” but rather because of the frat’s irresponsible conduct during their suspension. Do they deserve to get kicked off? If assume the hearsay that people in the comments section have cited is true, most likely. However, in terms of official evidence cited by the University, the punishment does seem a little harsh and I think parents have the right to be upset.

    • Parents do not have the right to be upset in the manner Mr Quartner exercised here. Rather than pick up a phone, contact a Trustee or refuse to write a check, which typically engages an administration, Mr Quartner has publicly refused to back the interim administration on a decision that implicates issues that he concedes are problematic and difficult. From both the tone and the facts disclosed by this thread, these issues are more difficult and long simmering than most parents realize, and rather than complain that the investigation morphed into a witch hunt over a laundry list of past misbehavior, most concerned parents would train their focus back on their kids and their associates and demand better behavior. Perhaps Mr. Quatrner could have been a role model to his son and his friends by telling them the obvious. Sometimes, during times of conflict, decisions do not go your way. Mr. Quartner could have told them to make the best of what remains of their Cornell days. Instead, he has taken to the newspaper of Cornell students to whine, miserably, that “the boys” were treated badly because they were not allowed to party while under investigation, and my long distance observation is that the fraternity’s failure to govern themselves in accordance with the seriousness of the situation appears to be the reason for the administrations actions. “The boys” could have used some good fatherly advice to keep their collective noses clean, apparently. As a parent I am glad that Cornell’s administration acted decisively. Unlike other Ivy administrations that appear to coddle and ignore standards of civility, Cornell’s administration has sent a quick, decisive message. Shape up or ship out. For Mr Quartner, a lawyer, to complain that a property owner is not entitled to use its property as it sees fit is disingenuous and evidences a bias that clouds intellect. The letter is an embarrassment to Cornell parents world wide.

      • You’re actually the joke here and embarrassment to Cornell parents, criticizing a man for standing up for his kin. Based on the above, I assume you wouldn’t protect or stand up for your own child? Ahh poor kid. Isn’t Mr. Quartner allowed to express his opinion on the issue? Considering he is after all more informed on the issue at hand than any of us? Especially considering one of his sons is in the fraternity at question? Hmm… interesting. I think parents have the right to be as upset as they like? After all this isn’t North Korea… Or maybe we should all learn from this and concede to the government at hand, and never question the antics they use to discipline, I think that would go over well, no? Maybe you missed out on fatherly protection when your nose wasn’t too clean? I feel bad for your kids.

      • I think you missed the point of the letter. Of course Cornell is technically allowed to kick the frat off campus for whatever reason, he’s not arguing that they are acting outside their legal rights, he’s simply saying that they are acting in an unfair manner towards the members of Psi U. It doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong, he has the right to express his opinion. Also, you’re clearly not a Cornell parent because if you knew how expensive it was to find a place in collegetown on such short notice you would also be angry. For you to call Mr. Quartner an embarrassment to Cornell parents for publicly standing up for his son is closed minded and mean.

  15. If Mr Quartner chooses to criticize the interim administration for their conduct, he should not be immune from criticism himself. Does he have a First Amendment right to criticize? Of course. Is his conduct becoming of a good parent or someone who supports community at Cornell? I don’t think so. His argument that this has impinged on his family financially due to costs of housing or in some other personal way is not credible. Google the man. He could probably buy a building in Collegetown. As for standing up for your kin or your friends, I refer you to the wise counsel of Dumbledore in Henry Potter, when awarding points to Griffindor, who acknowledged that it is easier to stand up to your enemies than your loved ones. Character is a muscle. The more you exercise it the stronger you get. Telling those you love that they or their friends are wrong and they need to move forward is hard work. Justice is imperfect, as Mr. Quartner, a lawyer knows. He should have taught the lesson
    He might also teac that you are sometimes judged by the company you keep, a fact to keep in mind by “the boys” who elected Wolfgang their President.

    • So many flaws in your argument… One if you actually looked into Mr. Quartner he isn’t a lawyer. He may hold a JD but he isn’t a lawyer. Two Wolfgang hasn’t been convicted of anything? Maybe refer to the duke Lax case, imagine if you said the same thing about the coaches that recruited the players that were accused of rape? and then found out that in fact they did nothing? You would probably feel pretty stupid.. Three although Quartner may be able to purchase a building, that doesn’t mean the other forty members’ parents can. So as Harry Potter might say about Mr. Quartner is a “brave, clever, and energetic man, and such men are not usually content to sit at home in hiding.”

    • Well good thing your opinion carries no weight in this world, “A Concerned Parent”. The author of this letter is simply sticking up for a side that is often not reported in the media because let’s be honest,”45 College Students Live Ordinary Lives” does result in clicks. Don’t be a dip stick a use your brain and stop being some self righteous POS that “parents” from behind a computer screen.

    • What a shame to read so many of the messages listed in this email thread–from the angry, biased students to the parents demonstrating the same angry and ignorant views. Did the $50,000+ tuition + room and board investment create nothing more than this anger and misrepresentation? No wonder we see political candidates running devisive, demeaning political campaigns–these negative perspectives and actions are happening everywhere–obviously within the student population at Cornell and parent responses outlined in this thread. What a shame.

      I agree with the other responder that comments posted by the parent above are an embarassment to the broader Cornell parent community. Did you really read Mr. Quartner’s letter or just skim over it and get caught up in the student responses? And did you really need to google Mr. Quartner and reference his occupation in your response above? Not relevant to this situation.

      Mr. Quartner states a series of facts and is pointing out significant gaps within the Cornell administration and its current process (or lack of process) followed in addressing this specific PSi U situation. Many students and parents have seen this same lack of process and subjective response by Travis Apgar and Dean Hubbell over the last 3 – 4 years with multiple other greek life and student activities. Mr. Quartner logically and factually points out these gaps and issues within his letter. It’s time the univeristy makes some changes. I am not saying Cornell does not have issues it needs to address–it does. From the pre-gaming happening in the freshman dorms to greek life and the push of parties to College Town (e.g., the new New Orleans of NY). But both Dean Hubbell and Travis Apgar should be replaced–they have been in their jobs way too long and can no longer objectively and constructively evalute student life situations. And at the same time, I hope the very smart, talented students attending Cornell, and their equally smart parents, will take more time to review, educate themselves and reflect more before responding to a well written, factual letter like the one written by Mr. Quartner.

      • Excuse me but Mr Quartner wrote a letter to the student newspaper. He called the students boys. They are not. They are adults who should be able to speak for themselves. You want to see people fired yet you demand politeness for those demanding heads Really? You should have to trade jobs with those guys and put up with parents like you and Quartner. The only administrators most parents know at Cornell are either coaches or development officers. I find it interesting that both you and Quartner can tell us their names and who should be fired. Hiring and firing are generally not parental duties. Yes, I pay $50,000 per year for tuition and I would like to know the school pays attention to cocaine trafficking, underage drinking and sexual assault. Apparently, Cornell does pay attention to those things, thank goodness.

        • Except cocaine use and/or trafficking has never been alleged and, according to Cornell’s stated reasoning, has nothing to do with this case. Sexual assault has been alleged of one of the guys, but Cornell stated that the frat had nothing to do with that either. If underage drinking is the problem, every dorm and every fraternity should be disbanded.

          So you’re left with retribution and unfair group punishment.

  16. So many flaws in your argument… One if you actually looked into Mr. Quartner he isn’t a lawyer. He may hold a JD but he isn’t a lawyer. Two Wolfgang hasn’t been convicted of anything? Maybe refer to the duke Lax case, imagine if you said the same thing about the coaches that recruited the players that were accused of rape? and then found out that in fact they did nothing? You would probably feel pretty stupid.. Three although Quartner may be able to purchase a building, that doesn’t mean the other forty members’ parents can. So as Harry Potter might say about Mr. Quartner is a “brave, clever, and energetic man, and such men are not usually content to sit at home in hiding.”

  17. Mr Quartner is a graduate of Columbia Law School, the same law school I attended. I can assure you that he was well instructed in the imperfections of our public and private adjudication systems. As an American citizen, he should know that under the rule of law imperfect decisions are rendered and parties must adhere to them. What he failed to pick up at Columbia, which was so wonderfully instructed by the late Harvey Goldschmidt , in Corporations, was the obligation to play one’s proper role. Cornell administration, has balanced the needs of the entire Cornell community, both present and future, against the needs of a small group of young adult men–not boys, as Mr Quartner erroneously alleges. Mr Quartner’s label of his son and fellow brothers as “boys” illustrates perfectly how Mr Quartner has confused roles here. While Mr Quartner plays the role of outraged student activist emoting against the oppression of the all powerful administration, raising the specter of overweening power against any and all student groups, his adult son, the fraternity member, remains silent. Who has the proper role of criticism of Cornell– the adult student or the non-alumni, off campus father? Rather than play the role of parent, helping his son and adversely affected friends resolve their housing difficulties and adjust positively to a difficult decision, Mr Quartner has instead written a very lawyerly letter, fulminating over summary executive action in what could be the opening salvo to litigation. I do feel concern for those members who are caught short, facing higher costs and I am confident that Cornell’s housing office will lend whatever assistance they can. Several new apartment buildings are coming on line for the fall semester in Collegetown and options may be better this year than prior years. This is a hard way to learn the lesson that leadership, in nations, in universities, in families, in fraternities, matters. Hopefully, these young men will consider the issue of leaders as they select the organizations they join upon graduation and for whom they vote in November. As a Cornell parent, I am grateful to the Cornell administrators who stood up for the values of Cornell’s community and sent a clear and unequivocal message that alleged sexual assault will be dealt with seriously and campus safety, including binge and underage drinking, is important. Cornell administrators play a vital role in enforcing community standards. Parents play a vital role in counseling and advising their ADULT sons and daughters to be respectful of each other and the Cornell community, including its administrators. Those young men play a role in adhering to Cornell standards. Their sassy double meaning T shirts and antics at Slope Day leave very much to be desired if we believe only a bit of which has appeared on this thread. Me Quartner has every right to criticize Cornell but he is being neither a good parent nor a good member of the Cornell community. As parents, we need not concern ourselves with the spectre of Cornell mistreating every student organization. Most Cornell students are responsible adults who are serious about their studies and their future role in the world.

    • I doubt you’re a very caring parent if you believe you should be “unconcerned” about Cornell mistreating your child’s organization. I would stand up for my child in the face of the harshest adversity because that’s what family is for. The precedent you are asking to set is rather disturbing – the smallest voices are the ones who are often the most need of support. Greek life is under a microscope and the university has an immense bias that parents and alumni MUST fight against if the system is to survive. I would hope a parent would stand up for any of their child’s organization, no matter if it’s a frat, publication, or cultural club, especially when it is so obvious the university has acted in an unprecedented and targeted manner.

    • Hahaha “a concerned parent” is just butt hurt that (s)he and his/her little dweeb child was a nerd in college and wasn’t invited to any parties.i have no affiliation to psi U or any fraternity at Cornell, but you my friend are a giant tool. Go take your self righteous parenting and your dweeby little child and go sit in the “safe zone” that you demand to keep your child from being picked on for being a self righteous nerd like yourself

    • “Most Cornell students are responsible adults”
      Are you kidding? You think Cornell students don’t do unwise things or make mistakes? I’m an alum and a Cornell parent, and I believe college students should be allowed to make mistakes without having the university come down on them like this. NOT be allowed to commit crimes, but allowed to make mistakes.

        • You can’t possibly believe what you hear from the ANONYMOUS COMMENTS OF A DAILY SUN ARTICLE. if you go by that logic then I would hazard a guess that most fraternities and sororities on campus would be in trouble

  18. I had never heard of the man until I read his bloviating letter. My agenda is a safe campus, but I am always struck when I see a lawyer(and read his letter, it is the role he is playing) act like their kid’s lawyer instead of their kid’s parent.

  19. People are so dumb. No one affiliated with psi u thinks that rape is ok. Duh. But they also think the entire frat shouldn’t be punished for what happened. The other offenses are extremely minor. Were the shirts cocky? Sure. Should they be kicked off campus for that? Absolutely not. Are some of the kids maybe obnoxious at times? Absolutely. Are they still good kids though? Definitely. The current state of the PC media I believe has a good point, but goes way over the top in delivering that message. A semester of suspension for the fraternity paired with more serious punishment for the alleged rapist (if proven guilty) seems like just punishment. The shook actually agreed. But some arrogant t shirts and a small party are ny reason enough to kick the frat off campus.

    Finally, let’s put to rest the idea that these boys are creating a “hostile environment” at the school. the concept of these boys promoting a rape culture is absolutely ridiculous. You can disagree with other aspects of this situation, but the idea that these kids are promoting a rape culture is absurd.

    • By “hostile environment” we, the many diverse Greeks at Cornell, don’t mean a rape culture. That’s ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that people hate Psi U and they seem to hate/look down on everyone else. They’re always coked out at parties starting fights . A “hostile environment” seems pretty accurate– they’re culture is openly elitist, nepotistic, outright violent and deeply insecure. A bunch of malignant narcissists. Whether or not the administration made the right decision, Cornell is all around better off without such an institution.

  20. To all those who think Psi U got what it deserved, fairness and reason be damned, keep in mind that whatever Cornell does to one group it can do to you. All students suffer when due process is not followed. Your beloved alma mater is an equal opportunity thrower-under-the bus.

    • Have you ever worked for an institution of greater than 5 people? Throwing folks under the bus is what they do best. Not buying the slippery slope to North Korea. These kids dared Cornell to mess with them. They lost. They needed to play in the middle of the field. Not so close to the chalk when refs were watching. Not smart. Wonder if they brought drug sniffing dogs for moving day.

      • Are you serious? When institutions act with impunity, everyone loses. You’re a pathetic individual if you think due process applies haters like you. Hubbell could care less who you are.

      • Regardless of the kids’ intentions, it is their first amendment right to clearly express their opinions. If cornell were 100% public it would actually be completely illegal for the fraternity to be punished based on the shirts.

  21. Fraternities are a perennial favorite whipping boy for the left. Apparently freedom of association is only applicable if you are on the correct side of the social justice spectrum. Most of these fraternity rape stories have turned out to be total hoaxes.

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