Jay here. Staring down the barrel of a six year suspension, I gathered with the executive council in the war room and began strategizing for what would be the longest six hours of my life. I had been a member of the university’s standards board for a couple of years, so I knew that this hearing could very well be a death sentence. I’m not talking about the j-board within IFC; this was the standards board where organizations seldom came out unscathed.
As we glossed over the accusations, ten of them spanning four pages, one in particular caught my attention. “Disregard for human life by failing to act in a timely manner in an emergency situation.” Are you kidding me? They teach every student ever to call the police when their friend passes out drunk and is unresponsive. What they don’t tell you is that if there is an organization involved then there is an imaginary time buffer. If you exceed that imaginary time buffer, they don’t give a shit who called, because someone has to be held responsible. Since it can’t be an individual, it must be a group of individuals, or in this case, the fraternity.
After we finished complaining among ourselves for what seemed like an hour, we had to start game planning, which is a fancy way of saying creative lying. However, it dawned on us fairly quickly that lying is what got us into this shithole in the first place. Analyzing each accusation one by one, it became evident that we really couldn’t dispute anything except for a couple of technicalities and the atrocity that was the “disregard for human life” accusation.
The final plan was to accept responsibility for seven of the ten accusations. I told my team to prepare for some form of suspension. While all of this is happening, the actives are having an uproar on the group chat that we aren’t being open enough about what’s going on. Look, I wasn’t the president but I ran the show. I had more pull among the actives than a foreign student with an English accent does with basic white chicks. A simple “it’s being taken care of” and the group chat was mum.
To make matters worse, the hearing was scheduled for the evening prior to our homecoming celebration. All of our alumni would be coming back to a chapter that was about to be suspended for six years, according to our pre-hearing interview, which was a whole other fiasco in itself. The good news about our hearing falling on the evening prior to homecoming was that Mitch would be there. We’ll call him Mitch for this story. Mitch was a past grand sage for our national fraternity, one of our most distinguished alums. He was also annoying as hell, but for this situation his particular skill set would be invaluable. Mitch was a practicing lawyer of 30 or 40-ish years, and he would give us credibility with the board.
When the morning of the hearing came, a new war room was assembled. Presidents of old and prominent alumni sitting around a table trying to contribute to the cause. All of them had the same thought running through their minds: “Can this kid really get us out of this mess?” After hours of pouring through details from the night that brought us here and formulating a defense for what I already knew would be a bombardment of questions, the time had finally arrived.
I threw on my suit and with briefcase in hand, headed out the door to meet Mitch for our hearing. “There goes that man!” — those words echoed as the doors to the house swung closed behind me. We would either receive our death sentence or I would cement myself in the fraternity’s lore as a god among men..
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