Amid the incidents Greek life has faced over the past couple of semesters at IU, the University is proposing legislation that would allow for law enforcement officers to enter Greek housing at any time, without a warrant.
The IUB Fraternity and Sorority Addendum to the Self-Governed Student Organization Agreement would also force Greek organizations to include language in housing contracts providing for this, according to the addendum.
To add to this debacle, many of the Greek houses on campus are owned by the national organizations, or by the alumni of the organizations. These houses are, for the most part, not owned by the University.
This addendum is a violation of Greek members’ constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment explicitly states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause ...” This is simply unconstitutional. In no way should this addendum be implemented into law here. It doesn’t get any more explicit.
On a personal level, this is a complete invasion of privacy. As someone who lives in Greek housing, this new addendum is particularly startling. Because I live in a fraternity house should not mean law enforcement can enter my home at any time of the day.
Just like any other home at IU or throughout the country for that matter, in order for law enforcement to enter my home and search it, they must have a warrant, backed by probable cause. I’ve heard the argument made that Greek members should have nothing to hide, but that argument simply misses the point.
There’s still a constitutional right being infringed upon. The real question is this: would you want law enforcement entering your house and searching it, without a warrant, for no apparent reason? Probably not.
I understand the University has its image to uphold, but let me assure you the University’s image is improving due to the strides taken to improve academics. As a junior, I’ve noticed an improvement over these past couple of years in the education that I am receiving.
In addition, I have also noticed an improvement in the way that others perceive the school. Regardless, the University should not attempt to maintain its image by violating students’ constitutional rights. There are other ways to build a good image.
Unfortunately, universities around the country are all vying to maintain their respective images in the wake of incidents concerning Greek life.
The University took swift action against ATO, and it took the action deemed necessary for maintaining IU’s public image. But trashing students’ constitutional rights is never the answer when finding a solution for maintaining public image.
Although I understand the University’s desire to keep tabs on the Greek system, disregarding the Constitution is not the way to do so. At the end of the day, upstanding students should not have their rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, thrown to the side in order to maintain the image of our school.