Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Letter to the Editor

To whom it may concern,
In the most recent published special edition of The Observer, a sexual assault victim’s story not only specifically mentioned our fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, but also placed blame on our fraternity for not acknowledging the Title IX case. Although an online edit was eventually made removing our fraternity name from the article, hundreds of printed copies spread throughout campus were originally published revealing the letters PMA. It should be first made incredibly clear that the men of Phi Mu Alpha have zero tolerance for verbal, sexual, physical and emotional abuse of any kind. Our fraternity’s motto for membership is “the Manly Musician and the Musicianly Man”, with emphasis that becoming an excellent musician can only be achieved by first becoming a better man.
Furthermore, it should also be made clear that this response letter in no way attempts to invalidate the stories told by sexual assault victims. It is, however, imperative that the Augustana community understands that the name of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity has no place within the victim’s story, nor holds any responsibility for involvement within the Title IX case. The victim’s relationship with the individual who is currently a member of our chapter ended in the winter of 2016, and he did not pledge Phi Mu Alpha until spring of the same year. Seeing that the case was nonexistent at the time that he pledged our fraternity, and the issue was not made known to any of the current members, there was no reason for him not tone allowed to begin the pledging process. This is not to say that he was exonerated from wrongdoing after initiation into the fraternity, though, as all of our members are held to the same high moral standards regardless of membership status. The Zeta Beta Chapter of Phi Mu alpha takes concerns of assault of any nature very seriously. However, it is not the responsibility of the fraternity as a whole to get involved in any Title IX case without having factual and conclusive evidence from the administration or the Title IX board.
Finally, it is also important that the Augustana community understands that Sinfonians, and especially Sinfonians at Augustana College, attempt to uphold the highest standards for men regarding membership. Within the past year, our fraternity learned of a member’s immoral conduct, and acted immediately to expel the individual based on those actions. Similarly, we have and will continue to prohibit admittance into the pledging process for any man whose conduct does not rise to the level of the expectations of our fraternity. Phi Mu Alpha will always aspire to make good men better men, while having no tolerance for anything less.
-The Men of Zeta Beta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia

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