The decorations police have struck at Emory University, according to a report this month.
The university, in Atlanta, is coming down on Alpha Tau Omega for the fraternity’s violation of having its students hang their own Christmas wreath on the outside of their house.
Josh Gamse, Emory’s assistant director of sorority and fraternity life, laid down the law in a Dec. 3 email, according to Campus Reform.
“Since this is the second violation of the policy, an incident report will be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct,” Gamse wrote.
Frat house cannot hang its own Christmas wreath, university insistshttps://t.co/9Fu66EUFd2
— Campus Reform (@campusreform) December 17, 2021
Davis Van Inwegen, the fraternity’s house improvement chair, said this was the second violation because before Thanksgiving, the frat house placed inflatable polar bears on its balcony.
He said the students did not know the bears were a violation of the decorations policy.
Van Inwegen said the rule is new, and the fraternity was not fully informed of the school’s ban.
The decorations policy states that Housing Operations must handle installation and removal of decorations on the outside, Campus Reform reported.
“Exterior holiday decorations must not be installed or removed by students,” the policy states, according to Campus Reform. “Violators of this policy will face disciplinary action.”
Part of the problem is that anyone accessing the rules by a Google search ended up with old rules. Van Inwegen said he had searched the rules and found no mention of the ban on exterior decorations.
“There are no lights, decoration hung on light fixtures, or any other conceivable violation under rule 1.21 and 1.21.1 that we know of,” Van Inwegen said in an email to the college, adding that the fraternity was “totally confused as to what rules we violated.”
Gamse later agreed that there was a problem with two sets of rules floating around.
“I just did the same google [sic] search and I see it too, but it is not the correct version,” Gamse said in an email to the fraternity.
The solution was to get the college’s bureaucracy in gear.
“I have reached out to IT to see if there is anything we can do about the outdated version on Google,” Gamse wrote.
As of Dec. 19, it wasn’t known whether the university would pursue disciplinary action against Alpha Tau Omega.
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