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A Letter for the Due Consideration of Dr. Nayef Samhat, President of Wofford College, from the Men of the College’s Interfraternity Council


We, the fraternities of Wofford College, present this letter to the President of Wofford College, Dr. Nayef Samhat, in hopes of finding a medium of discourse and voice for our constituents.

Greek Life and fraternity life in specific, remain at the center of Wofford social life in a number of ways. While national trends have stigmatized fraternal organizations as a whole, there remains a plethora of benefits which fraternity members incur. Character, leadership, camaraderie, and faith remained shared values by almost all fraternal organizations. There exists, and always has, a search for the understanding of man’s leadership and his ability to grow, that fraternities foster. We believe that someone who speaks to fraternities in ill will and without acknowledging their established values and performance is prejudiced and blind to their true existence. We write this as a precedent to the concerns listed below in order to voice the heartfelt appreciation that fraternity men have held for our organizations. We believe you would be hard pressed to find a man not thankful for his involvement in fraternity life here at Wofford.

That said, this past Friday, the day historically known but no longer officially referred to as Boys Bid Day took place. We note that there were no damages to houses and zero transports were made as a result of the overconsumption of alcohol.

At Wofford, surveillance cameras exist on both the front and back exteriors of all Greek houses, fraternity and sorority. Up until February 23, 2018, said cameras had never been used to enforce the alcohol policy of Wofford College. Therefore, many are left bewildered by the fact that several alcohol violations were written and distributed by campus safety solely from surveillance footage recorded at the Greek Village. It remains our belief that such footage was then reviewed after the weekend as violations were issued as late as Tuesday of the week of February 26. Students who were believed by campus safety to be in violation of College policy were then contacted via text message. We are concerned that this surveillance constitutes a change in policy and presents a wrongful invasion of privacy by the College and its Campus Safety department. We believe that such surveillance ultimately brings no positive benefit to the health and safety of this campus whatsoever.

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Such surveillance raises at least two key concerns. First, we present the question of privacy and its infringement. Using surveillance footage to incriminate constitutes an unprecedented invasion of privacy by the College. Where does this use of surveillance footage, this invasion of a private setting, begin and end? Our chief argument against such rests in the initial advertisement of the purpose of said surveillance cameras at the Greek Village. It remains to our knowledge and belief that the cameras were said to exist for the protection of property, and that they were not to be used for surveillance purposes, especially to incriminate. We find this to breach the mutual agreement reached between Greek Letter Organizations and the College.

Second, the fact that the college and its security have entered the realm of policing the activities of students per surveillance may have unintentionally placed the duty to enforce upon the College itself. If the College has accepted a new duty of enforcement via surveillance, does this mean that the College has a duty to monitor and enforce? It seems that this duty could constitute a newly founded level of liability for the College. It appears that the actions taken by Campus Safety on Friday, February 23rd demonstrate precedence of such.

There will undoubtedly be an argument against such complaints founded in the College’s ownership of the physical property of the Greek Village. We challenge, however, that a multitude of responsibilities bestowed upon fraternities for their respective premises, as well as the acknowledgement of a landlord tenant relationship in the Fraternity Lease Agreement demonstrate otherwise. We invite the College to confront the ambiguity of the lease agreement, and to hold to the purposes of the surveillance cameras as initially advertised in their installation.

In continuing to use surveillance footage to incriminate students, the College welcomes a host of subsequent problems and incentivizes negative behavior. Without question, the College must consider the negative effects of such a policing practice on the drinking culture at Wofford. For the health and safety of all of Wofford’s constituents, it is our belief that the College should enforce policies that promote social, communal environments on campus rather than policies that would encourage the use of off campus facilities, dorm room parties, and other detrimental behaviors. We ultimately conclude that the implementation of described surveillance policing will only serve to promote negative drinking habits on and off campus. The College’s administration states they seek to promote a safe and responsible environment for students to learn, both inside and outside the classroom, but continually promote policies and practices that ignore due process and foster a dangerous drinking culture. We challenge the College to consider the truth that their policies, while appearing to come from good faith, can result in negative consequences on the health, safety, and student experience of Wofford students.

There remain several conversations to be held and voices to be heard. We hope, as remains our intention, that this letter has accomplished its aim – to speak to the concerns of our fraternity men and to promote proper discourse. The fraternity men on campus hold a voice waiting to be heard, eagerly wishing to help create a better Wofford. We ask of you, President Samhat, to meet with the Executive Counsel of IFC to further continue this conversation. We also ask that such surveillance policing end immediately. Below you will find the signatures of all respective chapter presidents and IFC Executive Counsel Members.

Omar Elmore

President, IFC and President of Kappa Sigma

Andrew Brehmer

VP of Recruitment, IFC

Wells Ducas

VP of Judicial Affairs, IFC

Braden Tuttle

VP of Public Relations, IFC

Jack Sullivan

Secretary, Treasurer, IFC

Kent Liggit

President, Kappa Alpha Order

Miles Bidwell

President, Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Pearson Lewallen

President, Pi Kappa Alpha

Gus Collars

President, Pi Kappa Phi

Colin Baum

President, Sigma Nu

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