Bye, bye black sheep: frat ousted
By Donna MacMullin
Members of Sigma Pi fraternity found themselves the victims of a cruel joke when a dead sheep was left on their doorstep a Nov. 24 incident which prompted a police investigation and eventually, the suspension of one of Western's fraternities by the InterFraternity Council this past week.
IFC President Scott Graham said a motion was passed at Wednesday's IFC meeting to suspend Delta Kappa Epsilon from the council after it was discovered some of its members were responsible for the prank which was part of an initiation event.
It was not the first time this has occurred at Western, Graham said. "It happened to Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity two years ago and to Beta [Theta Pi] two years previous to that."
Of the 16 fraternity delegates present at the meeting, 12 voted in favour of the suspension and four against.
However, George Sardelis, president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, said it was a general prank something done by fraternities all the time. He denied that it was part of an initiation event and that it involved a dead animal. "It was nothing like that at all," he said.
Sardelis said DKE investigated the incident internally and ruled out that active members took part. "There were two pledges and two alumni involved." Since then, the pledges in question have been relieved of their pledge duties and the alumni have been banned, he added.
But later, Sardelis did admit a dead animal was involved, though he would not say where the pranksters obtained the sheep or how it was killed. "I've accepted it as president and I'm going to ensure that this will never occur again," he said. He intends to appeal the IFC's suspension.
Under the suspension, DKE has lost all IFC privileges, which include holding athletic and social events with other greek members, holding rush events on campus or wearing their greek letters on campus.
Jason Reddy, president of Sigma Pi fraternity, felt suspending DKE for their actions was not an excessive punishment. "Waking up to a dead sheep on your front porch is not exactly a nice way to start your week," he said. "It was obscene.
"Pranks are all in good fun, but to this extent it was just unacceptable."
Reddy said at the time of the incident, he called London police to ensure it would be officially documented, although they were not sure at the time who did it and have not been in contact with the officer since.
"We wanted to go through the IFC channels since they are the governing body."
Sgt. John O'Flaherty of the London Police Department confirmed that on Nov. 24 police were called to the Sigma Pi house when a dead sheep was discovered. He said at the time an investigation was launched but the perpetrators were never confirmed. "If the investigating officer received a call now, the case would be reopened," O'Flaherty said.
"Their suspension can only be lifted (Jan. 1, 1999) if they meet the IFC expansion resolution," Graham said, adding that although this is an option there are stipulations in the resolution DKE will likely never meet because DKE's international headquarters dropped their IFC membership years ago.
David Easlick, executive director of Delta Kappa Epsilon's international headquarters, said Western's current members of DKE have not paid their dues or sent in their forms in two or three years. "As far as I'm concerned, the guys there are not official members of the fraternity.
"I'm certainly sorry. I'm about as frustrated as the IFC is and as the university too, I'm sure," he said.