Fair Or Unfair? You Decide


Alan Resnick

Wrong or Fair? You Decide

Twenty year old Steven Sverchek changed out of his dress pants and shirt and slipped into something a little more comfortable after a long day of driving and court. Yes court: the kind you attend if you’ve done something wrong, or been accused of something wrong.

About three months ago Steven’s fraternity house, Delta Pi, was busted by the cops and he was accused of furnishing minors with alcohol and being underage and drinking. The whole fraternity was in trouble in an effort by the cops and school officials to start cracking down on parties and illegal activities at Bloomsburg University. Steven, along with three of his fraternity brothers, was kicked out of school after months of hearings and pleas. The rest of the members of the frat got community service and fines.

Now it seems like the lives of four students are ruined. Yes it is illegal to be drinking under the age of 21. Yes it is illegal to supply minors with alcohol. Yes Bloomsburg has been around for over 100 years and students have been partying and hosting gatherings for most of those years. These comments being said, shouldn’t there be a set way to punish kids at Bloomsburg? Making an example of Delta Pi seems to indicate that the school might be changing. Now changing for the better or worse is a matter of opinion, but it begs the question: Is what happened to Steven Sverchek fair or wrong?

As Steven put it, after coming up three months after the incident for a trial in which he was told to come back because they still didn’t have all the details to his punishment, “This whole thing has put a black mark on my life. My record, life and morale are permanently shot and I hope and will try to bounce back from this every day.”

Steven’s account of the nights events in which he was arrested include police force where it was very unnecessary, no reading of the common rights that everyone is read during an arrest, and just the feeling of being scum by the police when all the Delta Pi brothers were cooperating and doing what the police asked.

As Steven recalls, “They wouldn’t even let us use the bathroom. We were all cooperating and it just seemed very one sided. I came home from the library and next thing I know undercover cops roll into our house and just start clearing the house out. No one had any idea what went on.”

So underage’s were given out, items confiscated for no reason and people left in turmoil and surprise. Some might say protocol was followed by the law enforcement. Some might say that the police needed to let the brothers see the warrant. When it comes down to it, Steven couldn’t believe this is the same school he’s been going to and getting good grades at for two years already.

“I’m shocked at how this was handled. My dad is shocked at how this was handled. He is an alumnus of Bloomsburg and still donates and gives money back to the school. Since this has happened and he’s seen all the trials and hearings and how they have been so one sided, he has contemplated never helping this school out again.”

After the initial busting of the party fines, classes, community service and hearings all followed. All of which Steven complied with, telling his story and account of the night to all that asked.

Steven looks down at the floor now. Anyone could tell that he was getting sad and frustrated, saying “I know it was wrong to do, but this was a poor way to carry out an example. This ruined my life. I never got a parking ticket, a fine or even a bad grade in my life. I truly am upset at how harsh of a punishment Bloomsburg gave me.”

Fellow brother in Delta Pi and best friend Marc Gradwohl couldn’t believe it as well. “I truly am upset. The way the cops handled this was not like anything I’ve ever seen. My major issue is that a lot worse behaving kids go to this school and should be kicked out for some of what they do than Steve who hasn’t hurt a fly in his life, hasn’t been even close to being in trouble at this school.”

Marc brings up a good point: was this punishment to severe? Some might think so, others might not. The times are certainly changing at Bloomsburg, but for better or worse? We as a student body don’t want to always be scared of cops and getting in trouble. Every college across America has some kids that dabble in alcohol or drugs. Does that make it right? The answer is no, but does it make it right for a university to expel kids trying to get an education and give money to their school to go here over the type of party that happens every weekend at universities across the country? All these questions are always a constant debate, however for this particular incident, it seems to me there was no debate, no other side, no explanations heard, just one-sided clear cut punishments.

Now it is more waiting for Steven. More time to contemplate what happened because the punishments and paperwork issued by the law are not ready yet. “Now I am just waiting, knowing I’m going to be placed on some alcohol program when I wasn’t even drinking,” Steven goes on saying “all my loans are erased and my fines are really adding up. This is just a tough time right now.”

As for how Steven is trying to get by at home for the rest of the semester: “I am working two jobs, one at UPS and one as a snowboarding instructor at Blue Mountain. I got into a different school for spring semester of next year and just can’t wait to get back into the swing of college.”

This is a story of a punishment that might be fair to some people but might be harsh to others. Either way, this young man has picked himself up and found a way to rebound. Anyone in the right mind can appreciate and respect that.




  1. What happened to Steve is fair, not because I agree with it, but because the same thing happens to students all the time. The fact-of-the-matter is that drinking underage is illegal and if you’re willing to break the law you better be willing to man-up and take the punishment for it.

    It’s shitty that the University and the police decided to use Delta Pi as an example the student community to try and curb the drinking problem that plagues Bloomsburg. Like it or not, excessive drinking does harm the student population and the town. Most of the crimes committed in the student community and the general community can be traced back to binge drinking. I drank underage and still drink socially. I was also caught and paid the price for it, including having to leave the university I was attending at the time.

    My advice to Steve and anyone else who has to go through shit like this is just try to keep your head up and do damage control. Go to ARD, which even though you have to pay for it, is easier then paying the fines and losing your license. It sounds like he’s a smart guy and will land on his feet and finish his education. Just watch your ass if you’re partying at whatever University you’re attending, you don’t get any option of ARD the second time around.

  2. I think that it is fair. It’s a shame that Steven got in trouble but something needs to change. Just because other universities has the same problems doesn’t mean it’s right. If the police don’t crack down and don’t try to put more pressure on giving out underages then this problem will just keep getting worse. I have seen the kids who come back from parties who think they can take care of themselves only to be rushed to the hospital hours later with alcohol poisoning. About the part where it was said about we shouldn’t have to be afraid of the cops…I think everyone should be afraid of the cops to some extent. If no one feared the cops…then what’s the point of cops? We should all have that fear of them and getting caught. Without that fear everyone would just do as they wanted and cause problems or issues. Again I feel bad about Steven because I’ve never gotten in trouble here at BU, I’ve never really gotten bad grades, and I never got an underage and I’m 22. It goes to show that some students can be focused on school and still go to parties but be smart about it. I purposely never went to a frat or sorority because I know the risk of getting caught and getting an underage is high…and I had that fear for the cops. I think that more universities and cop need to be hard on the students because an example does need to be made. Too many people get underages and they don’t care. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard multiple students saying “Yea it’s only my third underage.” They count them like it’s a good thing. If I even had gotten one my parents would have probably made me leave here themselves because we’re here to focus on school to get a better job and of course make friends too but there’s other ways to just hang out and be with friends than getting drunk Thursday-Sunday.

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