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(Read Part 1 of this story here)
The “best” part about the university standards board is that the panel does not care A) If you broke any laws or B) What rights or protections you might have at the state level. Their job is to determine responsibility (they really like to avoid using the word guilt, probably because they know the process is one sided, ironically) and deliver an appropriate punishment, ranging from a written notice to suspension of the organization from campus.
So there we were, going through the motions of the introductions for the recording, where everyone simply states their name and affiliation. Mitch jumps the gun, stands up and starts spouting off, “Mitch Jennings, attorney at law!” not even five minutes into this thing, and the lead panel member is having an aneurysm because she didn’t get to announce herself first. I thought, “Jesus Christ, we’re in for a long night… But that was a power move.”
While the hearing was going down, our alumni and actives were having the annual largely disappointing homecoming dinner at some shitty buffet. In the middle of dinner, one of the alums decided to take it upon himself to make an announcement.
ALUM GARY: Do you think I should say something?
ACTIVE: Probably not; everyone knows where Mitch and Jay are.
ALUM GARY: I don’t think everyone is aware.
ACTIVE: Everyone is aware, Gary. Seriously — leave it alone.
ALUM GARY: I think I should say something. I’m gonna say something.
ACTIVE: Gary, what the hell?!
ALUM GARY: (stands up and performs a mic check) Attention, everyone! In case any of you wanted to know why Mitch and Jay are not here, they’re currently busy… um… saving the chapter!
Now the alums were all in an uproar. None of them had realized that our chapter even needed saving in the first place. Alumni relations at its finest.
Back at the hearing, we were getting railroaded during the presentation of the case. Determining responsibility consists of them presenting the case and then answering questions from the board. However, as the accused, you do not get to say a single word during the presentation of the case. The “prosecutor,” or whichever title they use to feel legitimate, gets to say whatever they want and answer any questions without any rebuttal or interruption from the accused. Our prosecutor looked and sounded like Betsy Devos continually saying “I support accountability,” except overweight.
PROSECUTOR: As you look over the documents, every piece of information that you see was mentioned by at least two people, which leads us to believe that we can trust it as fact.
That was a load of horse shit. They were presenting “facts” allegedly corroborated by more than one person when I knew that some of that information was only known by myself and one other active.
PROSECUTOR: As you can see here, this is very damning evidence. They had a function that night, where it was revealed that a 5 gallon jug of what they refer to as “jungle juice” was available, and one of the ladies from the participating organizations was even able to provide us the recipe! We were also able to find out from the participating organizations that some people were even offered shots…
You get the idea. This line of pointing out basically everything that every fraternity does during a standard function continued for twenty minutes while the prosecutor noted that we lied about it all every chance she had. More alternative facts, considering the only people who knew the recipe were those who made it in the first place, and it sure as hell weren’t any of our guests. After beating that topic to death, she moved on to talking about the guy who was sent to the hospital. At this point, our former president, who called the paramedics, was brought in to try and explain how this kid ended up at the hospital. I still was not allowed to address the panel, but could address my former president.
FORMER PRES: So he ended up coming to the house around 11:30 p.m. and passed out around 12:30 a.m. I discussed with some of my exec what to do, since he seemed fine just a few minutes prior, and we made the call at 12:45 a.m.
PROSECUTOR: I have it in my notes that you met with some of your exec for thirty minutes before calling.
FORMER PRES: I seriously don’t know where you got that from; I specifically said fifteen.
PROSECUTOR: Well, I have it in my notes that it was thirty minutes, so it must have been thirty minutes.
FORMER PRES: It definitely was not thirty minutes; it was about fifteen.
PROSECUTOR: The panel should proceed with the understanding that the meeting was 30 minutes long.
PANEL: The paramedics showed up at 1:05 a.m.; at what time did you call?
FORMER PRES: Around 12:50 a.m.
PANEL: You just said 12:45 a.m.
FORMER PRES: Um… I meant 12:45 a.m… Sorry.
PANEL: So you say that you met for fifteen minutes; at what time did he become unconscious?
FORMER PRES: We called at 1:00 a.m, he became unconscious around 12:30 a.m.
PANEL: So then you did in fact meet for about thirty minutes?
FORMER PRES: Oh… Um… No, I meant… That’s when the paramedics… We called around 12:45 a.m.
I was internally losing my shit. Our former president had no clue what he was trying to say, and it looked sketchier by the minute. I had to interject and request to address my guy. Whispering to him, I said, “Get your shit together. This looks sketchy as hell, and you look like you’re lying.” He replied, “I’m sorry; I’m just nervous.” I added, “That’s why I was sent and not you, you shaky bastard. Now tell them what happened and get it straightened out.”
He was barely able to get it straightened out, and the panel, at the prosecutor’s urging, went with the idea that they met for thirty minutes prior to calling. It doesn’t take a genius to know how bad that looks, especially in this situation. When it was finally my turn to try and refute anything, it was borderline pointless. I made as good of a case as I could in defending that the guy was safe and alive and, at Mitch’s constant grumbling, that the fact someone was saved because the call was made should be a mitigating factor. Since they had determined we waited so long, it didn’t matter — we were found responsible for eight of the ten accusations. In addition, we still had to go through the punishment phase, where both sides could present another case: our last chance to show that we deserved to stay on campus. Mitch took a huge rip off of his e-cig, turned to me, and said, “Well this doesn’t look too good.”
No. No it did not..
(To be continued…)
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