The two fraternities involved in the Joe Dado case headed to court yesterday over charges of furnishing alcohol. Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) and Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) have already been suspended by the IFC, and now they are facing criminal charges as well.
Apparently, their case is based on the definition of furnishing. For ATO, where testimony from Dado’s two friends claim he drank multiple beers, the defense is claiming the beer was taken without permission. However, according to testimony, the beers were unguarded. I don’t think the fraternity should be let off the hook just because no one intentionally served the kids. It was negligence on ATO’s part. And although there was not testimony that Dado drank alcohol provided by FIJI, the fact that another underage girl testified to drinking there is enough to bring the exact same charges against them.
In fact, nearly every party where an underage student drinks should, in theory, be held just as accountable as ATO and Fiji. There seems to have been an unspoken agreement between the Police and the fraternities, where as long as things don’t get out of hand, the former has left the latter alone, but the Dado case seems to have forced the issue by making the consequences of underage drinking a reality. If Dado had merely injured himself on the way back to his dorm, I’m sure these two fraternities would not be the subject of such heavy investigation and prosecution.
Between the new IFC policies and this case, times are changing for frat life at Penn State. We got that coveted #1 party school ranking this year, but now it looks like the party may be over.