Dear Rick – Since you sent me the proposed “Fraternal Organization Agreement” several weeks ago, I have had

an opportunity to review it with my fellow officers of the Baird Association, which owns the building and land at 184 High Street. We – the officers of the Baird Association – have also reviewed it with several of our non-officer alumni, with the current undergraduate members of Mu Epsilon of Beta Theta Pi, and with many of their parents. We have also shared what you have asked us to sign with the responsible house corporation officers of the Wesleyan chapters of Alpha Delta Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and Psi Upsilon. Needless to say, we value what has been a friendly and positive relationship between Beta Theta Pi and Wesleyan for virtually all of the years since Mu Epsilon was founded in 1890. We appreciate the proposed agreement’s acknowledgement that we are “not an agent, servant, employee or representative of the University in any way or any type, but rather…an independent contractor responsible for and managing its own affairs [underscore added].” The university’s policy on “recognition” of fraternities has not always seemed clear, and we are grateful to read that Wesleyan “does not have a practice of ‘recognizing’ fraternal organizations,” and that “Such organizations are free to exist and/or operate either with or without any University benefits. Organization shall not hold itself out as being part of, controlled by or acting on behalf of the University.” Having made this independence clear, much of the rest of the proposed agreement seems intended to deny us the very responsibility for managing our own affairs acknowledged in Section I. Nevertheless, there are some sections of the proposed agreement with which we can readily agree. We would be happy to discuss the possibility of adding the university as an “Additional Insured” on our insurance policies, so long as they are not, “primary and noncontributory with any insurance maintained by Wesleyan University.” We can certainly work together to minimize our joint exposure. Sections III.a, b, and c. of the proposed agreement appear to ask us to confirm that we comply with applicable state and federal laws, and with Wesleyan’s Code of NonAcademic Conduct. We acknowledge that we are subject to law, and that our undergraduate members are subject to the Code of Non-Academic Conduct. We also understand that the university would want all its students to be safely housed, as Sections III.f and g. clearly state. A responsible officer of the Baird Association would be happy to meet with a university representative, the City of Middletown Fire Marshal and the City of Middletown Housing Inspector to assure the university that the residents of 184 High Street are safely housed, in a sanitary environment. There are, on the other hand, several sections of the proposed agreement that raise concern. Among them is Section III.d., which seems both non-specific and open-ended. What, for example, are the “expectations…of the community?” Neither the Baird Association nor the Mu Epsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi will be forced into reprimanding members because the university deems disciplinary action to be necessary.

Similarly, it’s not clear what Section III.e. means by an “event,” and why Wesleyan would ask an organization that is “not an agent, servant, employee or representative of the University in any way or any type” to “register all events” with the university. It would be helpful to have a clear definition of an “event.” Section III.h. seems to grant the university’s Public Safety staff a right of 24/7 no-knock entry to our building and grounds. Although Wesleyan students, faculty and staff are always welcome to visit Beta Theta Pi, we expect any non-member who is not a guest of a member to knock on the door, introduce himself, and wait to be invited in. We cannot countenance no-knock entry by anyone other than a sworn law enforcement officer acting according to law. As I noted above, we value what has been a friendly and positive relationship between Beta Theta Pi and Wesleyan for virtually all of the years since Mu Epsilon was founded in 1890. We welcomed President Roth’s May 10, 2008 statement that Wesleyan’s fraternities are “energetic, vital student organizations,” that he was “impressed with how the membership is adding value to the educational and co-curricular experience on campus,” that the fraternities “add significantly to Wesleyan’s overall diversity,” that they “have historic roots with alumni that are important to maintain, and…that the frats…can continue to play a very positive role at the university.” We couldn’t agree more. My fellow alumni and I, as well as our undergraduate members and their parents, appreciate the time you are spending with us to further our relationship with the university. We look forward to working with you and other members of the administration on an agreement that strengthens that relationship, while preserving our independence in a partnership that has worked so well for 120 years. Sincerely, Adam Diamond, '03 President Raimond Duy Baird Memorial Association

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