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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

ADP Apologizes for Half Time Fumble

In response to the embarrassing half time show over Homecoming Weekend, I would first like to apologize, on behalf of Alpha Delta Phi (ADP) and as the Inter-House Council (IHC) representative to the administration and the Middlebury community, for any offenses taken.

There have been many questions and fears by members of my constituency concerning the presence of social houses on campus and to what extent they will be threatened by the incident during Saturday's game. First off, I would like to respond to this question by reassuring the social house community that we are not at odds with the administration to the same extent that we have been in the past. We at ADP would like to applaud Karen Guttentag, assistant dean of student affairs, as being very reasonable and for providing a very friendly avenue for discussion and negotiation. In the past under other administrators, pledge violations resulted in definite suspension, whereas now there is more room for negotiation.

As of today, pledge has been suspended for all houses for two days until further decisions are made. I would also like to address this policy where all social houses are penalized as the result of one party's use of poor judgment. Because of a blunder by ADP, every social house has been forced to suspend their pledge, which can be seen as debilitating considering the short time over which pledge can take place. It is my opinion that punishment only be applied to those who deserve to be punished and not to the whole system.

Then who should the administration punish? Should it be ADP for allowing its pledges to display offensive behavior or should they punish the very member who committed "the crime?" But before evaluating necessarily who should be punished, why don't we first review the nature of the crime. So showing his backside was offensive, right? But was it premeditated and malicious? My answer to these questions is no. Donald Anselmi's display at the football game was a random act committed for the purpose of compensating for what he interpreted as being a "sucky halftime show." It was a last minute decision, and although he exercised poor judgment, it was not malicious or pre-meditated. Having said this, I can then move to evaluate the culpability of those involved. While I do think some form of disciplinary action should be taken whether by the administration or by ADP, it should not be severe. First off, why should ADP who was not cognizant of the half time show repertoire be punished for something it could not control? And why should Donald "burn" for something he saw as non-malicious? While everyone is open to different interpretation, I feel that Mr. Anselmi is truly sorry. If any action be taken, social houses, particularly ADP, should facilitate better communication between the membership and the pledges over what is acceptable in public and what is not.

I would also like to address other issues that may be threatening to social houses. First off, I would like to discuss Director of Center for Campus Activities and Leadership Doug Adams's suggestion that pledges not attend the parties of the social houses they are pledging and condemn this suggestion as counterproductive and threatening to the social house system in general. It has been explained to me indirectly that Mr. Adams's rationale for this suggestion is based on his fear that pledges, if at parties with members, will partake in drinking, thus breaking the dry pledge ordinance. While ADP, myself and many other members of the IHC community completely support dry pledge, we see this suggestion that pledges not attend parties as a major divide between the memberships and its prospective members. This policy works to undermine the solidarity that is home to all social houses at Middlebury and threatens the very base on which the social house system stands.

Personally, I stand behind pledge as an institution, and I see it as a very important bridge between students. As IHC Senator, I will do all that is in my power to preserve the good standing of social houses on this campus and to facilitate a friendly and open relationship between the administration and the social houses.

Written by IHC Representative and ADP Member ANNE ALFANO