Accusations Fly As Politics Turn Nasty At Ewu Student Body President, Council Elections Marked By Dorm-Greek Fight
From For the record (February 23, 1996): Eastern Washington University students Matthew Rabey, 20, Anthony Hundt, 22, and Atom Duszynski, 20, were cited by police for misdemeanor alcohol violations on campus Feb. 10 and released at the scene. A story in The Spokesman-Review on Thursday did not indicate the trio was released.
Sometimes, campus politics aren’t pretty.
That’s the case at Eastern Washington University, where students vote today for a new student body president and 11 other council members.
The campaign has been marred by beer-drinking arrests, accusations of newspaper-stealing and a fight between Greek Row and the dormitories.
Sigma Nu fraternity is accused of trying to take over the council with its slate of eight candidates, but three of them face court dates for illegal drinking.
About 2,500 copies of the campus newspaper disappeared Tuesday. Student journalists said they believe some of the fraternity brothers didn’t like coverage of the arrests and took armloads of newspapers to prevent other students from reading them.
“All we did was report what happened,” said Mike Ehrmantrout, news editor of The Easterner.
An extra 4,000 copies of the campus weekly were printed and circulated Wednesday.
The current student body president, Justin Franke, said accusations against the fraternity of stealing newspapers are “hearsay.”
Franke doubles as president of Sigma Nu and is at the center of the uproar.
He sought to stop criminal prosecution of his fraternity brothers arrested with beer on the third floor of Louise Anderson Hall in Cheney on Feb. 10.
Franke said he asked for on-campus discipline because a criminal record would hurt the students’ futures.
In Tuesday’s election edition, the newspaper reported the arrests, Franke’s request to stop the criminal prosecution and the fact that his fraternity had eight candidates on the ballot against four from the dormitories.
Franke’s opinion of the coverage? “Basically, it was slander on Sigma Nu,” he said.
Of the eight students arrested, six are Sigma Nu brothers. Six in the group were under age 21 and cited as minors in possession; the other two were cited for furnishing alcohol to them.
The arrests occurred at the same time Sigma Nu and Gamma Phi Beta sorority were holding a sleep-over for some 40 children two floors below. The event was a community service project to give parents a night off.
The children were not disturbed by the drinking or campus police.
Franke said the arrested Sigma Nu members were suspended from the fraternity.
“It was more of a mental mistake on my part to be in there,” said Anthony Hundt, 22, a student council candidate who was cited for furnishing alcohol to minors. Hundt said he didn’t buy the beer and had been in the room only a short time when police arrived.
The other candidate arrested in connection with the incident was Matthew Rabey, 20. A third candidate, Atom Duszynski, 20, lost in last week’s primary election.
The student council controls $600,000 in discretionary spending annually, and each council member is paid a tuition scholarship.