Remember last August when the Phi Delta Theta chapter at Georgia Tech was accused of shouting racist slurs at an African American student walking by the house? And remember how the windows they allegedly shouted from had been boarded up for years and that security footage showed the woman walking passed the house, unflinching, as though nothing had happened?
Well, the chapter was placed on “suspension in abeyance,” which means the members were only allowed to participate in academic activities — no intramural sports or social events.
They were also barred from appealing the decision.
But the brothers have a powerful ally hoping to get the complaint against the fraternity lifted. Enter Earl Erhart, a state representative from West Cobb County.
Erhart is a chairman of the subcommittee in charge of university spending, who has long been against the university’s lack of due process for accused students, especially in sexual assault cases. He sees the Phi Delta Theta suspension as yet another mishandling of justice by the university, and another reason why law enforcement and qualified prosecutors should be in charge of dealing with such cases.
“These young men have lost an entire half-year of their college experience. It’s a huge sanction. You spend a lot of time and effort and money to get into a fraternity,” the lawmaker said. “And they’re walking around campus with a scarlet letter on their foreheads, for ‘racists.’”
Erhart has threatened to cut spending to the university engineering school if changes to the university justice system aren’t made.
He sights that Phi Delta Theta, among all disciplinary investigations conducted by the university, was one of the five percent denied the right to appeal.
In December, a special committee set up to examine student disciplinary policies issued its report to Peterson, the Tech president. Among its findings: While facts were undisputed in “95 percent” of all disciplinary investigations, in “one case,” punishment was meted out solely on the force a statement by the person who lodged the complaint. No other evidence was considered.
That case, Ehrhart said, targeted the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
While Erhart wasn’t able to get the accusations dropped, the fraternity will now be allowed to appeal to an appointed jurist with a lawyer and evidence. Still, Erhart was pissed at the state of the university, and cited the hypocrisy of the “safe spaces” movement sweeping college campuses across the nation.
“You want to talk about ‘safe space’? In the vernacular of campus discussion today, there’s no safe space for young men at Tech. You want to be safe? Go to class, then go run and hide in your dorm. That’s where we are at Tech right now,” said Ehrhart, who can be prone to operatic pronouncements.
A hearing related to the appeals process will take place on Monday, where an attorney will testify for the fraternity. Georgia Tech officials have also been invited to attend — but Erhart issued them a stern warning. Fully aware of the toxic progressive mindset that has engulfed Georgia Tech, like it has so many universities, Erhart unloaded on the officials.
”This is not a micro-aggression. This is a macro-aggressive environment when Earl Ehrhart is chairing the meeting. If you don’t like someone to disagree with you, little snowflake, and you’re going to melt in a fetal position on the floor of my committee room, you can go outside in the hall,” he said. “It’s a public building, but you can’t do it there when adults are having a conversation.”
Let ’em have it, Ernhart..
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