The University of Iowa chapter of Rho Rho Rho, a well-known party frat, is being suspended for not partying enough.
Iowa City, Iowa – A fraternity chapter at the University of Iowa is in hot water with their parent group after it was discovered the local house was not complying with organization by-laws.
“Specifically, the requirement to party,” said Barrett Stern, acting president of Rho Rho Rho, known colloquially as Triple Rho. That’s right, the Iowa City frat is being suspended for not partying enough.
“The number of incidents of partying at the U of I chapter of Triple Rho is abysmal.”
Stern is right on the nose. Hundreds of frat-related incidents have been reported to University of Iowa campus police over the past five years; few have been connected to Rho Rho Rho. Other fraternities, such as Delta Iota Ki, comprise a much larger portion of the complaints. Josh Boggart, a two-year veteran of the Delta Iota Ki local chapter, finds Triple Rho’s party ethic unforgivable.
“We have a duty, you know. Like, to be the best we can be, dude,” said the six-foot-three, two hundred eighty pound Hawkeye linebacker. “And ask not what our frats can do for us, but what we can do for, uh… you know. Stuff. Right? And Rho Rho Rho, like, they’re rockin’ the boat, man.”
“And you totally know what happens to people who rock the boat,” he added while making a gesture to indicate a ship sinking.
The suspension of Triple Rho comes on the heels of allegations of hazing within the local chapter, specifically a series of spring rush speed Battleship tournaments hosted in their frat house, The Ark.
“Fraternities and sororities are not for thinking,” complained a parent who asked to remain anonymous. “What’s next, reading Melville for a book club? Weekend Dungeons & Dragons marathons? How are our kids supposed to learn the social skills they need to survive the fast-paced world we live in if not through the established tradition of frat parties?”
Local members of the frat seem unaffected by the coming suspension, deciding to just go with the flow, keeping things at an even keel. “College life seems to rush at you like a furious river,” said Quentin Mast, chapter chairman as he placed an arm around the shoulders of his fiancee, psychology grad student Mary Leigh. “We prefer to move at a more leisurely pace, gently down the stream.”
“Besides,” he added, “it isn’t as if we aren’t having fun. We just do things a little different in the Ark.”
Different indeed. Mast and his vice-chairman, who goes by the name Merrill E., prefer to plan trips to regional museums and fishing excursions to nearby Clear Creek for the group, as well as poetry readings and other intellectual pursuits. Group events are generally learning experiences. “Last spring break we took a trip to San Francisco to meet Mayor Edwin Lee.”
In fact, Lee was so taken with the students, he reciprocated and flew out to visit the Iowa frat last fall. He worked with Mast’s fiancee, the vice-chairman, and group treasurer Maar Ali to solve a number of problems facing traditional fraternities and sororities. Their report impressed members of the Sapling Foundation, who asked the four to compile a TED Talk detailing their plans. The event, titled “Mayor Lee, Mary Leigh, Merrill E., Maar Ali: Life Is But A Dream,” will become available on Netflix this fall.
But despite Triple Rho’s academic and social achievements, Stern and other officials with the Rho Rho Rho association are taking action to make sure current U of I members are never admitted back into the foundation should they refuse to comply with administrative by-laws. “It’s not like we’re asking them to throw a teacher overboard and listen to her scream,” Stern went on. “But we have standards.”
Whether or not the national by-laws are enforceable is another matter entirely, claims a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union. “Students should be free not to party if that’s what they want from their college experience,” Trisha Whipstaff told reporters after the press conference where the suspension was announced.
“You know, whatever floats their boat.”