The story of Lambda Iota

While members of Lambda Iota Fraternity were allegedly distributing large amounts of cocaine, the fraternity has a laundry list of poor behaviors according to Greek Life and UVM standards dating back to 2003 and beyond. These behaviors include distributing alcohol to minors, distributing alcohol from a “common source” and allegedly distributing date rape drugs at parties. Prior to April 27, 2007 (when Police executed a search warrant because members of the fraternity, including then President Chris Duncan, were alledgely selling tens of thousands of dollars in cocaine) the fraternity has been on and off probation. Lambda Iota had been on and off probation for several years according to documents from the Office of Student Life. Lambda Iota had a reputation for poor behavior said Montana Burns, President of the Pan-Hellenic Council. In November of 2006, Burlington and UVM Police reported on “several incidents” where females drank only a small amount of alcohol and became unconscious shortly after. “The female reported having been served a beer at Lambda from a beer can that was poured into a red cup. The female indicated the male serving the beer turned his back to her when it was poured,” one incident report stated. Fraternity brothers told Burlington Police that they turned their backs after pouring beers “simply to place cans into while pouring beers “simply to place cans into receptacles for redemption/return.” One fraternity brother told police that, “He has heard of rumors of this type of thing happening at Lambda in the past but never heard anything factual. He indicated the rumors seemed to reference behavior from many years before. He indicated he was not familiar with any females passing out at the residence.” “He was aware Lambda Iota had a ‘reputation’ for being a ‘roofie’ house,” police said of another fraternity brother. “I didn’t really know that that had happened obviously, I don’t really know what to say about that,” Kim Monteaux, the adviser of Greek life said. However, in a timeline produced by Kim Monteaux, she indicated the exact date of the allegations stating “Greek Judicial Board sent letter to Lambda Iota concerning risk management and alcohol policies being broken.” While there was at least three reported incidents of females become unconscious shortly after being at a party at Lambda Iota’s House, based on “insufficient evidence” Lambda Iota was cleared of the charges, according to a letter from DeMethra LeShaBradley, a Hearing Officer at UVM. Lambda Iota was found guilty of distributing alcohol from a “common source” and serving alcohol to minors, according to the letter. Because of these violations, Lambda Iota was “separated” from the University. The fraternity was prohibited from recruiting new members and holding any chapter activities the letter stated. Prior to these allegations, the then president of Lambda Iota met with David Nestor, the Dean of Students to discuss Lambda Iota on April 5, 2005. In the spring of 2005, Lambda had several alcohol violations and was put on social probation. Two members also assaulted a police officer in March 2005, according to the timeline produced by Monteaux. Nestor discussed Lambda Iota’s image with the president, according to a letter written by Nestor. The letter stated, “you and (name removed to protect privacy) both voiced your frustrations with that image. Your image won’t change by doing nothing. You must engage in some meaningful activities that contribute to the development of a healthier community. We discussed gender violence as a particular issue.” However, in early December, Lambda Iota initiated six new members, which was a violation of their suspension, according to the timeline. On Oct. 10, 2006, the Cynic ran a feature about a party at Lambda Iota Fraternity, the president admitted to “the Greek Adviser” that he had a ‘personal’ keg in the Lambda Iota House. Lambda Iota also had a series of complaints regarding a mattress on their roof that was “not removed despite repeated calls to members and announcements at Interfraternity Council (IFC),” stated Monteaux’s timeline. The fraternity was further suspended until the end of the fall 2007 semester because of these violations in addition to their alcohol violations, stated a letter written by Lacretia Johnson, the Assistant Dean for Conduct, Policy and Climate. On April 27, 2007, after the police executed a search warrant to search the Lambda Iota Fraternity House of 440 Pearl St., Pat Brown immediately sent the Lambda Iota Executiver Officers a letter stating “We are taking this action because an initial investigation has yielded evidence of a possible University policy and State law violation involving your chapter and some of its members.” He was aware that the investigation had to do with drugs, Brown said. The Visions Committee, who meets annually, discussed the future of Lambda Iota during the summer of 2007. They voted to recommend to Pat Brown that the University permanently derecognize Lambda Iota, Brown said. Brown is responsible for making the final decision decided to derecognize the fraternity permanently. Scott Hallock, Chairman of the Board of Govenors of The Lambda Iota Fraternity, appealed the decision. Hallock was unable to comment at the time of publication. Tom Gustafson, Vice President of Student and Campus Life reduced the decision to a de-recognition period to 8 years, according to a letter written by Tom Gustafson. Burns said Lambda was “that chronic weak link.” Kim Monteaux said “My physical immediate response was thinking about these men who are fantastic whether they are collegiate or alum because they have some wonderful alum as well and then after that my response was to make sure that if there was anything we were supposed to be doing, we were doing, at the Office of Student and Greek Life.” “Whether you go Greek or not things with alcohol unfortunately and really, really unfortunately with drugs do occur and I think sadly Lambda had kind of separated themselves from the Greek community a while ago.” “They did not participate with much, when there were those few moments they were allowed to,” Monteaux said “they did not participate in Greek Week or Greek Games.” Monteaux said that she did not suspect that Chris Duncan or Issac Goldman were involved in any kind of drug dealing. “He did not seem to me to be extraordinary,” Monteaux said about Chris Duncan, “I did not think there were any big red flags.” Monteaux met with Issac Goldman weekly because he was a representative on the Interfraternity Council, Monteaux said. “I remember after Lambda had been put back, on something, Issac was still on IFC and when you are descended you can’t send people to IFC anymore because it is only for people who are in good standing” Monteaux said “And I remember having to take him out in the hallway and be like you can’t be here and this is why. “It kind of like broke my heart because you know it is one individual and I remember we let him stay for the rest of the meeting because we didn’t want to embarrass him.” “I always thought he was really nice and I was actually really shocked that he was named in all this,” Monteaux said. Monteaux admitted that she had to “lie” to her students for months about Lambda’s situation. Detective Andrew Frisbie of the Burlington Police Department said that he could not say what will happen to Bent Cardan, Chris Duncan and Issac Goldman-the three former UVM students who were allegedly responsible for selling large amounts of cocaine. No court day has been set yet. “They were always trouble – nice guys, just trouble. They lived an “Animal House” style fraternity life – as we’ve seen time and time again, that type of fraternity lifestyle is terminal,” Sigma Phi Society member, John Rawley said.