The Facts About F.A.C.T.

Meg Savin

It’s hard to miss. Evidence of the Colgate Freedom of Association Coalition for Truth (FACT) website is all over campus. Fliers have circulated throughout the campus, billboard signs have been posted on the lawns of Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Upsilon, Sigma Chi, Phi Delta Theta and Beta Theta Pi and petitions have been passed around the academic quad demanding that the administration reconsider its decision to purchase all Greek Houses.The website, found at, came into existence in late March following the efforts of President and founding member of FACT senior Sean Devlin. “It began about a month and a half ago when we contacted students and formed a group to protect students’ Constitutional rights on campus,” Devlin said. Devlin explained that the statement made by Financial Vice President and Treasurer of the University David Hale in June of 2004, claiming that any fraternity or sorority that refuses to turn over its house to the University will no longer be recognized and will risk expulsion if the group continues to meet, is what instigated creation of the website. “We saw this as a clear violation of First Amendment Rights,” Devlin said. “Even as a private institution, Colgate states in the Student Handbook that it will uphold students’ Constitutional rights. We saw this as blatant hypocrisy. The administration is breaking its promise to the student body.”Devlin is impressed with the campus’ support of the website, indicating the diversity of students who have signed the petition. “Students seem to realize the importance of these rights,” he said. “We should be thinking: if they can do it to one group, why can’t they do it to others?”There have been rumors of a countermovement to the website on campus. “There isn’t a countermovement,” Devlin said. “One student had a personal disagreement with a student supporting the website, and I’ve talked to that student. No one has come close to countering the effort we’ve put in. How could students argue against it?”The FACT website claims that with Hale’s statement Colgate is infringing upon students’ rights to freely assemble. Founders and supporters of the website are disturbed by the University’s “underhanded violation of private property rights in taking the Greek Houses,” as quoted on the website. Devlin and supporters of the website are particularly angered by Colgate’s refusal to consider negotiating long-term leases with the Greek Chapters.”The University could do this, but they don’t want to.” Devlin said. “The only response has been, ‘no’.”Devlin is careful to point out that FACT has no political affiliation and has no connection to the controversial Students and Alumni for Colgate (sa4c) website.”There was some misinformation on campus that our website was connected to sa4c,” Devlin said. “There is no connection.”During the free period at 11 a.m. this Tuesday, students are invited to a Dinosaur BBQ on the lawn of DKE to show support for the website and students’ rights. The band Stillman will be performing, pocket constitutions will be distributed and nationally-recognized Civil Rights activist David Horowitz and President of Freedom of Individual Rights in Education, Inc. ( David French will be speaking.”Hopefully, the school will come out and be supportive,” Devlin said. “We’ve already had 8,000 hits on the website, which is great, considering the size of our campus.”