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Chi Psi settlement terms: Gordie Bailey death

CHI PSI SETTLEMENT (correction appended 3/23)
•    Chi Psi agrees that Lynn Gordon Bailey, Jr. was hazed by Chi Psi brothers in Boulder the night of September 16, 2004, preceding his death acting in violation of Chi Psi Fraternity policies and in violation of University of Colorado policies.

•    Chi Psi will prohibit alcohol from being served at any pledging, pinning or initiation ceremony, whether at a ceremony formally recognized by the National, or a ceremony unique to a local chapter. Violators will be subject to discipline which may include expulsion from the fraternity and from designation as alumni.

•    Chi Psi will investigate, understand and keep records on file of all pledging ceremonies and traditions at all Alphas to assure they are in compliance with national Psi Chi policies.

•    Chi Psi will develop a national pledge curriculum to ensure pledge education and ceremonies are consistent from campus to campus.

•    Chi Psi will mandate alumni presence at all formal activities, whether on or off campus, for all pinning, pledging and initiation activities, including at pledge activities which may be adopted by, or unique to, local chapters. Chapters violating these policies will be subject to discipline which may include having their charter revoked and their brothers expelled from the fraternity without being given alumni status.

•    Chi Psi will advocate in favor of efforts at any college campus where it has a chapter, or towards a national policy sponsored by, or applicable to, all fraternities, to delay rush/recruitment for all fraternities until spring of a student’s freshman year.

•    Chi Psi will use Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr.’s story annually to educate pledges and brothers about the dangers of peer pressure, hazing and alcohol poisoning, especially during fraternity pledging and pinning ceremonies.  Gordie’s story will not be presented as one of a pledge who simply had too much to drink. All comments implying that Gordie had a drinking problem will be removed from all educational materials, and not repeated in the future.

•    This Chi Psi educational program will link to The Gordie Foundation website.

•    Chi Psi will develop and distribute a standard “bid” card that each Alpha will give to men invited to join the fraternity, and sent to the parents of each pledge. The card will include the fraternities policies against hazing, numbers to call if a pledge feels uncomfortable talking to a brother or another pledge, and a statement that the national fraternity will stand behind their effort to report any violations of these policies by investigating the complaint and ensuring that any chapter officers or members who are found to have violated such policies or retaliated against any pledge for reporting violations will be subject to removal from the chapter house with loss of fraternity membership.

•    Chi Psi will mandate that all newly constructed lodges built for the purpose of housing a Chi Psi chapter on any campus include a live-in adult house director, who shall not be an undergraduate student, and who shall receive training in all Chi Psi risk management policies, and be specifically instructed to immediately notify the national organization of any violations by the chapter of national risk management policies. Chi Psi will pass a resolution advocating that its alumni corporations establish live-in house directors to assist in the oversight and implementation of the national’s policies by 2012.

•    Chi Psi will require that all officers of each chapter sign an “agreement” stating that they understand their responsibilities, potential liabilities and consequences with regard to underage drinking, misuse of alcohol, hazing and alcohol poisoning, specifically as they relate to the initiation of pledges, and that they will not violate the National’s policies.

•    Chi Psi will mandate training and certification of all officers that must be completed each year and verified by the National Fraternity in writing before the Alpha may hold social functions or conduct business.

•    Chi Psi will send a letter to all pledges, and parents of new pledges, outlining the pledging process, the expectations for the local Alpha, how the fraternity policies require that the pledge process not involve hazing or the provision of alcohol to pledges, how they should speak with their son about his need to refuse to engage in these activities, and that pledges are encouraged to report any violations of this policy and that they will not be denied membership for demanding that the pledge process be in accordance with these national rules. The letter will also include phone numbers for parents and pledges to use if they have any questions or concerns.

•    Chi Psi will incorporate the Response Ability – Transforming Values Into Action – Program into its educational programs.

•    Chi Psi will develop risk management education targeted at the age of each student. Risk management education will be provided to pledges within the first week of the pledge process.

3.16.09

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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