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Get the 'Buck' Out

Joshua Billar

Last Thursday The Arizona Republic broke a story involving four ASU fraternities, a sexual scavenger hunt and a video camera. Unfortunately for ASU, this video was not to remain in the frat's private "Goodest Parties Ever" collection. Instead, it was professionally produced and distributed for public sale.

"Shane's World #29: Frat Row Scavenger Hunt 3," a popular pick in local adult shops, has now become a huge black eye for the university and an embarrassment for ASU's student government: Associated Students of ASU. Involved in the video was none other than ASASU Vice President Brian Buck.

Those involved violated ASU's student code of conduct, which prohibits "public sexual indecency" and the unauthorized use of university property - rules that were apparently broken simultaneously.

Hoping administrators wouldn't recognize their own buildings, the illustrious Shane's World crew took our eager group of future American leaders to such auspicious on-campus locations as the lawn in front of Manzanita Hall - a Freshman Year Experience dorm.

A fact not lost on the new ASU administration, which, under President Michael Crow, promised swift action. One of the fraternities involved, Sigma Phi Epsilon, has already been suspended for the next three years. Hopefully, more suspensions will follow.

When asked about his action, ASASU Vice President Brian Buck was remorseless. "I'm not apologizing for anything I did. The way I see it is 200 fraternity guys having a good time."

"If the administration goes after anyone, it should be the producers of the video," he later moaned--although this time it was off camera.

On the topic of possible fallout from his actions, Buck was increasingly impetuous. "It's not an impeachable offense. I wasn't in office when it happened. It's not like this is Harvard." Let's explore that comparison, since he brought it up and all.

In 1999, Harvard, which earned its Ivy League reputation by limiting its fraternities to soft-core productions, forced the dean of its divinity school to resign after thousands of pornographic images were discovered on the university owned computer he kept at home.

Buck should do the same.

The problem is not Buck's poor performance as ASASU vice president, a job he's barely begun, but his poor performance as a leader. Like it or not, the moment these individuals join a university sanctioned organization they begin representing ASU.

Brian Buck holds a revered position in the student body. Because of this, he should represent ASU respectably and care about its national image. A task the ASASU vice president rejects.

While one must be careful not to vilify all fraternities based on the actions of a few, it's difficult to see how those involved do not represent a much larger group within the Greek community. So far, no internal reprimand has been handed down by the fraternities involved - not so much as a critical word.

This lack of self-regulation is a sign of much bigger problems within the fraternity system. No one inside sees a problem with these actions. The Greek leadership needs to understand that silence in a situation like this is akin to consent.

The fact is students don't join frats to save endangered animals, clean up the environment or to help the underprivileged. They do so to party. To many in our illustrious fraternal orders, philanthropic work (like the guy puking in the potted plant) is just a stumbling block to the nearest keg.

Why do you think a limousine full of pornographers chose ASU frats in the first place? After all, they didn't pull up to a random ASU dorm, the Newman Center or the newsroom. Because, as Shane's World's Andy Treehorn said, "We're just about having fun and offering people that we know like to have fun the opportunity to do so."

But fun at whose expense? Certainly not the pornographers and apparently not the students involved. The price, unfortunately, falls entirely on the student body.

The prestige of a university affects how well its students are received upon graduation. Actions such as these can only be detrimental to future job and advanced degree applications. Forty thousand future diplomas, your diplomas, are now a little less illustrious and we have four fraternities to thank for it.

ASU has fought for years to shed its party school image and make itself a Research-I institution. Unfortunately, reputations take years to build and only minutes to tear down. In this case, it took exactly 109 minutes (including advertisements).

As this controversy boils over, a tinge of remorse has suddenly befallen Buck. "I regret any of my actions that brought embarrassment to my family, friends, fraternity or university," he said Friday. The words are unfortunately too little, too late.

Josh Billar is a chemical engineering graduate. Reach him at

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