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Newsletter > November 2017- Special Edition > "Alpha Phi Delta Files Lawsuit Against Baruch College"
Alpha Phi Delta Files Lawsuit Against Baruch College
Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, the Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity, its Gamma Rho Chapter, and 12 of its current or former members filed suit against Baruch College, a public school in the City University of New York system.1 Following a tragic hazing death in a different fraternity in 2013, Baruch College issued a moratorium on fraternity recruitment. They have renewed this moratorium each year since 2014.
Prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the Chapter made the conscious decision to no longer maintain or seek recognition with Baruch College or with the City University of New York. Since that time, it has operated without college recognition and without any of the benefits that are associated with campus recognition. In fact, while the college is located in Manhattan, all of the chapter’s activities have taken place in Brooklyn.
Baruch College does not dispute the fact that it has not recognized the fraternity since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. Nonetheless, Baruch College decided to punish students for exercising their First Amendment associational rights away from campus by choosing to affiliate with this group. The College suspended chapter leaders, withheld the diplomas of graduates, and also prevented students from registering for courses in a timely fashion all because they associated with this off-campus group. It is important to note that the group has not been accused of hazing, alcohol or drug violations, or any other type of misconduct. Instead the College has charged them with violating the moratorium on Fraternity recruitment, even though their group is not affiliated with or recognized by the College.
Under the logic of Baruch College, they could punish students for affiliating with groups such as religious groups, the YMCA, professional networking groups, or any other type of association not officially part of the campus. We believe that this type of action from a public school is a clear violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment. We will continue to provide updates as this litigation unfolds.
1 Timothy M. Burke and Micah E. Kamrass of Manley Burke are representing the Plaintiffs