Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another crackdown on harmless student hijinks

One almost wonders if any of these self-righteous sourpusses were ever young themselves. They must not have enjoyed it much at any event. Perhaps they missed out on the sex. And it is another case of a university kangaroo court disregarding the verdict of a real court

The University of Vermont has suspended one of its fraternities until next fall for violating the university's underage drinking and hazing policies, UVM officials said Thursday. Phi Gamma Delta, known as FIJI house, was alleged to have held a party in March at which drinks were served to underage students and pledges were made to wear cowboy outfits and taunted with homophobic language as part of a so-called "Brokeback Mountain" party, according to a UVM police report.

Fraternity representatives Thursday said Phi Gamma Delta is not a homophobic organization and accused UVM police of omitting important evidence in their initial police report. The suspension means fraternity members may live in the house but may not participate in any Greek activities including hosting parties and rushing new members.

Last month, a Vermont Judicial Bureau judge dismissed hazing allegations against four of the fraternity members who had been ticketed by UVM police in connection with the party. In that case, the court ruled there was no evidence to suggest the students violated the state's anti-hazing policy.

UVM officials said the university's ruling to suspend the fraternity was based on a campus judicial hearing in July. "While a Burlington court has dismissed specific charges against individuals in the fraternity who were cited with violation of a Vermont statute, that decision does not impact the university's obligation to enforce its own policies," UVM administrators wrote in a statement on their decision.

Annie Stevens, UVM's assistant vice president for student and campus life, said the university chose to try the fraternity, not individual members, in its judicial hearing because there was not enough information in the police report to name any one individual as being responsible for the underage drinking or hazing charges. "Underage drinking and hazing are tied together in the university's hazing policy," Stevens said. "One example of hazing is furnishing alcohol to underage students with pledges present."

Under the decision, the fraternity is suspended until the fall of 2007 semester and must pay a $150 fine. To be reinstated, FIJI must also come up with a plan in which members have to go through sensitivity training and provide programming on alcohol abuse and hazing. Stevens said UVM fashioned its hazing policy after the state's 2000 anti-hazing law. Last month's case in the Judicial Bureau court was the first time the law has been tested.

Joseph Thibault, an adviser for the fraternity, accused UVM police of omitting evidence in their initial incident report that was later revealed during the Judicial Bureau hearing. "This selective omission, and others like it, framed the fraternity members' actions as offensive, when in fact no one took them that way," Thibault said. "While some of the fraternity members may be guilty of exercising poor taste, their actions did not rise to the level of committing a hate crime or engaging in hazing, as the state's attorney and the Vermont Judicial Bureau recognized."

UVM Police Chief Gary Margolis defended his department's investigation. "The officer presented the information that addressed the elements of the statute," Margolis said. "I'm not going to argue specific points, but FIJI needs to focus less on blaming police and more on addressing the problems they created." Margolis said the university is considering appealing last month's Judicial Bureau decision.


What a laugh: "Public pupils excel in VCE results"

So pupils at one school do well in their final high school exams and that is credited to the government school concerned. No mention that it was Asian kids who did well. They tend to do well in ANY school in Australia. But we can't mention race, can we?

A suburban public school has rocketed up the VCE tally board, with four of its year 12 graduates achieving the "perfect" tertiary ranking of 99.95. The result puts Glen Waverley Secondary College second in the state for perfect ENTERs, behind Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, where five students had the top ranking. Glen Waverley's quartet of perfect ENTERs also places it ahead of elite private schools, including Xavier College, Ivanhoe Grammar and Melbourne Grammar.

Principal Gerry Schiller said while the school had produced many bright students in recent years, they had fallen just short of the 99.95 mark. "After five or six years of being near but not quite there, to achieve it four times over is a wonderful result - for the school and for the students," he said.

One student, Ashray Gunjur, was still in bed yesterday morning when his mother logged on to the internet for his results. "My mum had sort of 'stolen' that letter which has my student number and my PIN," the 18-year-old said. "I looked at the score and my dad was there. He said: 'What happened to the other .05?' I think he was joking." Ashray's method of celebrating his results was perhaps a little unorthodox - the teenager headed straight back to bed. "It probably hasn't sunk in. I don't think 99.95 was ever in my spectrum of possibilities. I don't think I'm like these other geniuses here."

The other "geniuses" among Glen Waverley's class of 2006 include Aaron Chock, whose anxiety over results day woke him up at 1 o'clock and 3 o'clock yesterday morning. When he accessed his score at 6.47am, it was "a dream come true". Srigala Navaratnarajah attributed part of her success to choosing subjects that she enjoyed. "If you really love your subjects, then you will succeed because it keeps motivating you." The 18-year-old, who achieved a perfect study score of 50 in international studies and physics, said the friendly competition within the school was also a factor. "Every year we see people do extremely well, and we don't think anything is out of our reach."

Classmate Tianhong Wu, who read Japanese Manga books during the year as a break from schoolwork, said she looked on her 99.95 as a good start for university. "It just gives me a lot of confidence and I feel there isn't anything that's too hard, as long as I try." The four star Glen Waverley graduates want to study medicine at university next year, and Tianhong, Aaron and Ashray have all been offered scholarships to study at Monash University.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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