The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

TKE gets table, still suspended

After nearly four months of suspension, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has had their table in the University Center Commons returned to them.

Attempts at appealing suspension were unsuccessful, although the punishment was lessened, being shortened from one year to just one semester. However, it was the loss of the table that was most difficult for the organization to cope with, according to a number of members of the fraternity. The return of their table was a cause for celebration.

“Finally getting our table back is something that our organization has worked hard at since the beginning of the suspension,” said Dan King, treasurer of TKE. “It is a place where our brothers can meet as well as accomplish the expectations of the University. We are extremely happy to be taking this step towards being off suspension and putting this whole experience behind us.”

Kurt Osterman, president of the fraternity, agreed.

“I think the right decisions were made in the end,” Osterman said. “I’m happy to have the table back before I graduate. It gives me a few more weeks to hang out there like I did for the last four years.”

Following their suspension at the start of the spring semester, TKE had the table associated with their fraternity removed from the cafeteria by Student Life. The policy of removing tables had never been implemented as part of a Greek organization’s suspension punishment prior to TKE’s suspension. However, the tables had been removed for other reasons, according to Darren Morton, associate dean of student development.

“The tables have been removed for other purposes, such as them not acting in accordance with the codes of conduct for that room,” Morton said in the Feb. 15 issue of The Torch. “But for suspension, this is the first time that has occurred because that policy was changed in the midst of it.”

Morton also explained that the tables in the U.C. Commons are not specifically assigned to any organizations. Although it is the popular belief that the cafeteria in the U.C. is the home of Greek Life, it is an open cafeteria. Morton did, however, acknowledge that the tables are often associated with specific Greek organizations.

Student Life had suspended Tau Kappa Epsilon following an investigation after a fight with members of the lacrosse team that occurred off campus in December.

The suspension will end on May 1. But to members of the organization, getting the table back is the most important thing.

“Many people may see it as a table in a cafeteria, but to a person in an organization it is really something much greater,” King said. “If we are expected to complete merit based activities, as well as to grow as a fraternity, it is essential to be given the table back.

“This now means that TKE will be able to be up to date on the activities and expectations of the University,” King commented, “as well as to plan and achieve the many goals we have for the upcoming semester and years to come.”

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