Volume 92, Issue 53

Tuesday, December 8, 1998



Road trip lands pledge in jail

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

A Western student and potential fraternity member recently learned a lesson – or two or three – about underage drinking.

While on a road trip to Michigan State University with the Sigma Chi fraternity, Brandon Kirsch, an 18-year-old first-year student at Western, was allegedly caught using fake identification at a Michigan bar and received three separate tickets for the incident.

According to police officer James Campbell with the East Lansing Police Department, Kirsch was issued three fines – the first for being a minor in possession, as he was intoxicated before even arriving to the bar. The second ticket was for using fake identification and attempting to enter the bar and the third ticket was given to Kirsch after attempting to lie to the police officer who arrived on the scene, by showing the fraudulent ID when asked to identify himself.

Campbell said Kirsch was fined the maximum amount of $500 for each offence and was brought into the station on Nov. 21 where he was forced to stay the night until he was no longer intoxicated and could pay the $100 bond to be released.

Campbell said there is an extremely low tolerance to underage drinkers in the area. "East Lansing is a college town and underage drinking is a very big deal here," he said.

Kirsch refused to comment on the situation and denied the allegations. "I'm saying this whole story is untrue," he said.

Marc Schaffer, president of Sigma Chi, said he does not see the incident as a serious crime and does not feel the incident will hurt the reputation of the fraternity. "I see it as a non- issue – it's not related to the fraternity," he said.

Jason Shoemaker, president of the Inter-fraternity Council, said he too does not think this issue is a very serious one and suspects many people have used fake identification at one time or another. "It doesn't make it right – 99 per cent [of people], I'd say at least, have used fake ID."

Shoemaker said he felt the police may have been slightly too harsh with Kirsch. Shoemaker did admit, however, that breaking the law is not condoned by the council. "Obviously any illegal activity is frowned upon," he said.

According to Campbell, Kirsch has found an attorney in the United States, who will represent him in his first court date on Jan. 21.

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998