A tragic death occurred at Florida State University months ago when an undergraduate student drank himself to death. While there appears to be no evidence of hazing directly related to this drinking incident but plenty of evidence of the foolish acts of drunk young people, FSU President John Thrasher and VP of Student Affairs Amy Hecht acted quickly to punish all FSU fraternity and sorority students by banning Greek Life for six months.
Practicing “collective punishment” is a totalitarian tactic, like punishing a neighborhood for an act of one resident. Thrasher and Hecht will be proud to know that these tactics are banned by the Geneva Convention and punishable as war crimes (Article 33, Fourth Geneva Convention). That’s right, it mattered not that 95% of those punished had no affiliation with the fraternity where the death occurred, Thrasher and Hecht suspended all members of all fraternities and sororities at FSU indefinitely, banning their leadership, social, and fellowship activities and depriving them of untold opportunities. The staggering monetary costs of lost event deposits, dues paid for which nothing was rendered, and countless other opportunities lost are incalculable and were taken by FSU from these young adults and will never be recovered.
To make matters worse, during the time of the suspension, Hecht’s office empowered itself with modern day Gestapo-like powers, spying on the social media of FSU’s fraternity and sorority students and even calling in members and chapter advisors – refusing to explain why in advance – to reprimand them for perfectly legal acts like dressing up and visiting the Tennessee Street bars on one’s 21st birthday and playing impromptu stickball games. These innocent, independent and perfectly legal acts were determined by the FSU administration as inappropriate or worse, during the suspension period.
Offensive as this was, it was just the beginning. Hecht proposed a draconian set of new rules to “reset” or create a “new normal” at FSU. Beer posters would be banned, 24-hour searches of the private residence of all fraternity men would be allowed without cause, warrant, or permission. Fraternity “Sweetheart” competitions – cancelled. Parties – banned! Most offensive of all was the imposition of a new “Greek Tax” that would be levied to take over $1M per year from these students so the FSU Administration could support and build its newfound power base and anti-Greek empire in the office of VP Hecht. Mind you, FSU Greeks already pay millions in fees for activities and services, from which they are banned to receive any funds back like other FSU student organizations do because fraternity members pay dues. Therefore, double taxation proves to be as punitive as it is duplicitous.
Stunning as it is that a University would impose these kinds of restrictions on adults, nothing should surprise us when the liberals running higher education put their minds to a new agenda item. Thrasher’s bold proclamation stated that a “new normal” of behavior was needed by FSU students. Meanwhile, on his own staff, an FSU Deputy General Counsel (lawyer) was charged and convicted in a child porn/sex sting and another FSU employee was removed from her office at Doak Campbell Stadium relating to murder charges of her former husband. Despite this, there has been no official plan or comment from FSU on any “new normal,” taxes, fees or programming for its employees. This leads us to the logical conclusion that stopping the behavior of sexually deviant and murderous employees is less important for FSU than punishing an easily targeted group of students after one accidently drank himself to death.
Of course, fraternity men are viewed by the left with great suspicion because they embrace tradition, are predominantly white, allegedly often conservative and perhaps in some cases from wealthy families. What better target could the left find than this group? But as offensive as John Thrasher’s paternalism and Amy Hecht’s empire and reputation building exercise may be, what is more offensive is the lack of fight in FSU’s fraternity men.
Thank you, Sir, may I have another?
Stunningly, after being punished for six months for an act in which none of them participated, with the implied suggestion that they were all guilty of some heinous act, not a single act of defiance, not a single protest, not a single public gripe was uttered by FSU fraternity men about these polices. Alumni members were outraged, many prepared lawsuits and fought hard behind the scenes to end the tyranny, but despite their valiant efforts, they were undone not by the pathetic apathy of the fraternity men, but by a group of conscripted students who stood to support the anti-freedom, liberal fascist tactics of the Administration at the recent meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The Florida State University Interfraternity Council (IFC) has been nothing but complicit in the punishment of innocent fraternity men. Of course, the IFC is “advised” by member of the Administration that seeks to control them. What is stunning is that the members of IFC seem to have no issues with taking orders from the Administration, orders that seem to conflict with their own cause of freedom and work to impose more and more bureaucracy and restrictions on its members. In fact, those in the IFC seem to like the arrangement. They get a nice little budget and get to have fun meetings with important people. The question is, are these IFC types men seeking nice letters of recommendation from the Administration or are they men intent on representing the wishes of their fraternities. Time will tell, but recent history paints a bleak picture.
In the past year, rather than fight for fraternity rights an against the unwarranted attack on the civil rights of its members, the IFC has actually imposed more rules, created more bureaucracy and astoundingly, just last week represented at a meeting of the Board of Trustees that it supported Hecht’s “Greek Tax.” While it was doubtful and unclear if a vote of any IFC members had taken place to authorize its support of this tax, an IFC officer stood to thank Thrasher and Hecht for the punishment FSU inflicted upon fraternities and to support the plan to use funds from the tax for “programming.”