What? Party Steps Down After Kappa Sigma Bust

Two candidates for student body office stepped down Thursday to focus more attention on the beleaguered Greek Row.

“We will concentrate on the greek system because it needs our help right now,” said Cory Peterson, Interfraternity Council president and former presidential candidate from the What? Party.

Peterson and his running mate Marcus Lopez, who is the Interfraternity Council recruitment chairman, plan to spend time rebuilding relationships with neighbors and the battered Greek Row image. Peterson and Lopez were the only candidates from the What? Party.

“Every time we hit the media, it is really not a positive,” Peterson said. “We will do our best to steer the media to the positive things greeks are doing.”

Last Saturday, police broke up a party at the Kappa Sigma house and handed out 52 alcohol citations, 40 for consumption of alcohol by a minor and 12 for providing alcohol to a minor.

The event received attention by a number of local media outlets, since it comes only a few months after greek leaders made a secret pact with neighbors.

Bad relations between some Greek Row neighbors and fraternities has created tension in the Federal Heights neighborhood for some time. Greek Row leaders and representatives of the neighbors sat down this summer and hashed out a plan to improve relations.

Last Saturday’s incident violated that pact, Interfraternity Council policy and the law.

Peterson said he is in the process of drafting a statement condemning the actions of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. The Greek Judiciary Council is also in the process of reviewing the event.

The penalties facing Kappa Sigma range from alcohol training to expulsion from the greek system.

“We need to show that we can govern ourselves, that we are taking this seriously,” Peterson said.

Without the increased media exposure and problems associated with the busted party at Kappa Sigma, Peterson and Lopez said they would still have run for the top offices in the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

“But Greek Row is our home, this is where our first priorities are,” Lopez said.

Peterson said he received a memo from the Panhellenic Council, which oversees the campus’ sororities, questioning their campaign for office.

The sororities wanted to make sure Peterson and Lopez were maintaining their focus on Greek Row, Peterson said.

The greek leaders still plan to actively participate in the ASUU election in more minor ways, while focusing most of their attention on improving the public relations among Greek Row, the community and the university.

In March, the Greek Council will host neighbors at a dinner at the Sigma Chi house. Also in March, the Greek Council will host a rush summit with Utah State University to discuss ways to boost recruitment, although existing changes to the rush system have already been made.

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