Opinion

EDITORIAL: Bringing up the past to make a point

Flashback, October 4th, 2001. It’s late on a Thursday night, and campus is rather empty; after all, Thursday is college night in the Grove. Ten thousand fresh copies of the Friday, October 5th edition of The Miami Hurricane are scattered throughout the various bins on campus: some in dorms, some in front of busy academic areas, and some in the UC.

These papers, however, were controversial to the core, containing an article describing the recent (and now infamous) actions of members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Several students, identifying themselves as AEPi members and wearing AEPi shirts, had been assaulting Muslim students on campus and asking non-Muslim students what we should do about those “damn towelheads” and “damn Arabs.” This, of course, greatly angered members of the student community, regardless of religion. It was in the month following September 11th, when international and social tensions were at a peak, and it just wasn’t right for these kids to be so racially ignorant and offensive. So, The Hurricane, in its duty, reported on these actions and the reactions of students to them.

The Editor, Jordan Rodack, was also a member of the same fraternity involved in the story. As is required with journalistic integrity, he declined to have any influence on the content or publication of the article, and gave authority to the news editor. The article had to run, for it was the truth, and to hinder such would be more offensive and ignorant than the actions listed above.

Fraternity “spokespersons” railed against the paper; Rodack’s safety and life were threatened. And then, the evening that the issue was placed in its boxes, nine thousand copies were stolen. UM determined that three members of the Lambda Deuteron chapter of AEPi were responsible and punished them. They suspended two members of AEPi and placed a third on probation. Those suspensions were “quietly lifted shortly thereafter,” Rodack said, in a later interview with the Herald, and then went on to reveal the more awful truth: several fraternity members harassed him for much of the next year because he allowed controversial story to go to print. Two journalism organizations, several months later, asked the University of Miami to take action against the fraternity, but none has since been taken.

Now the frat is suspended, for actions unrelated to the original charges: multiple alcohol violations, violations of state and local laws. Alcohol violations? If a frat could simply be brought up on “alcohol violations” the existence of fraternities would cease altogether. There’s something hidden here. “If you have to continue to either sell your organization or constantly celebrate with alcohol…your organizations have a problem,” said Greg Singleton, associate dean of students overseeing the fraternities. “Let this be a lesson to all of you. You should be educating your membership now so that the same thing does not happen to your organization.” What hypocrisy! If you say out of one side of your mouth that selling your organization to pledges with alcohol is bad, yet out of the other side condone the activity because that’s just what frats do, then you are guilty of hypocrisy.

The University should investigate the ever-growing phenomenon of “frat rule” on this campus if it wants to truly teach a lesson.

Because “Tomorrow’s leaders are in our chapters today,” as the Alpha Epsilon Pi creed states, and in these college years they truly are making the “Commitment for a lifetime.”

September 23, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The college football season doesn't begin until the end of August, but that never stops media o ...

There were indications, even before Lonnie Walker IV was selected No. 18 by the San Antonio Spurs in ...

Add another player to the Miami Hurricanes' 2019 recruiting class. Defensive end Jahfari Harvey ...

From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice fa ...

Gino DiMare on Tuesday stood in a spot that two men before him had crafted into a pinnacle of succes ...

At the University of Miami, employee recognition comes in many forms. ...

Community art project encourages the public to explore the vibrant downtown area of Coral Gables and ...

It appears that his third run for the presidency will be successful as he distances himself from the ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

The University of Miami volleyball program will host nine ACC home matches and the Sunshine State Ch ...

Walker picked 18th overall by San Antonio Spurs, Brown 42nd by Detroit Pistons. ...

Gino DiMare was introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in Canes' history. ...

The University of Miami women's golf team had three individuals selected to the 2018 Atlantic C ...

Haley Templeton is set to travel to Detroit, Mich., on Friday to train and compete with the U.S. Wom ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.