Press-Republican

November 26, 2013

Investigation continues into fraternity incident

By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — The SUNY Plattsburgh fraternity that became the center of a City Police investigation over the weekend has been the subject of disciplinary action in the past.

The college put AXP on probation for interfering with a Take Back the Night march in April of this year, SUNY Plattsburgh Director of Public Relations and Publications Michelle Ouellette confirmed Monday.

It’s alleged that hateful comments, including “sluts” and “shut up, sluts,” were shouted from the fraternity house at participants of the march, which was part of international effort to spread awareness of sexual assault, rape and domestic and dating violence.

Following the incident, the fraternity was given a two-year probationary period, AXP President John Mastronardo told the Press-Republican on Monday.

In order to comply with the sanction, he said, the group must fulfill requirements set forth by the college’s Office of Fraternity/Sorority Life, including actively participating in programs and workshops.

“We’ve been fulfilling our sanction throughout the semester,” Mastronardo said.

In addition, he noted, AXP planned to bring someone in to speak about risk management.

UNDER INVESTIGATION

On Saturday afternoon, an area outside the fraternity’s Brinkerhoff Street home was lined with crime-scene tape as police executed a search warrant there.

Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot confirmed Saturday that an investigation was being conducted but released no information about the nature of the alleged crimes.

Sources, however, have said that the investigation stems from a possible assault and fight.

Mastronardo told the Press-Republican Saturday that he arrived at the house at 8:30 that morning and was told that a group of people had come to the residence at 3:30 a.m. with knives, a baseball bat and a hammer.

He was not home at the time but said there had not been a party at the house.

City Police again released no information on Monday, saying the case remained under investigation.

‘PROPER PRECAUTIONS’

Ouellette couldn’t speculate on how SUNY Plattsburgh would respond to any allegations or charges that could be brought against the fraternity, she said, because she didn’t know what the investigation would reveal.

However, she said, in any matter where judicial action is taken by the college, penalties can range from community service and education all the way to suspension and expulsion.

Mastronardo said Monday he was not aware of any new information regarding the case.

He noted, however, that AXP planned to be in contact with its national headquarters, as well as the college administration.

“We’re going to take the proper precautions and fulfill everything we need to fulfill,” he said.

Email Ashleigh Livingston:alivingston@pressrepublican.com