Chapman Sammys on the offensive

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As the Weekly reported a few months ago (see "Scarlet Letters," May 10), a group of students at Chapman University hoping to establish a chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu, a national Jewish fraternity, have become a major pain for the college's administration because of their unwillingness to shut up. Today a group that stands up for people who are told to shut up, the American Civil Liberties Union, announced it's put up time.

At a press conference at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California office in Orange, branch director Hector Villagra said Chapman must "immediately rescind" what it deems freedom of speech restrictions placed on the group.

When Chapman decided not to recognize the frat in 2006, the group, headed by senior Pascal DeMaria, was also forced them to remove its Facebook.com page, banned from wearing T-shirts on campus, and disallowed from recruiting, attending events with other Greek groups and advertising.

Villagra chalks these restrictions up to First Amendment violations and, at the conference, said legal action is being considered if the college does not reverse its position. Villagra did not set a deadline for Chapman.

Both Chapman's Dean of Students Joe Kertes and Greek life adviser Chris Hutchinson have previously declined to speak about Sigma Alpha Mu.

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