bensen - Hello Im writing this to explain the conviction I...

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Hello, I’m writing this to explain the conviction I have on my record, as it’s important for you to understand that it was a complete misunderstanding, a prank organized by some upperclassmen of the fraternity I was thinking of joining. I’m attending the University of Illinois in Champaign and Urbana, and I was in my freshman year when the incident occurred last December. The fraternity I was considering joining has a rivalry with another fraternity, and as a sort of initiation rite the freshmen were supposed to pull a prank on the rival frat. About five pledges, myself included, were told to go with two of the upperclassmen to a party the rival frat was holding at their frat house. Before the party the upperclassmen were very vague about the details of the prank, and they did not tell us what we were supposed to do, only that it was a tradition and that we would be pulling a prank. At the party, the upperclassmen told us freshmen we had to take something from the rival frat that was valuable to them. They told us they had been planning to take a large sign of the fraternity’s name that sits on their front lawn, but that it would be too hard considering all the people who were at the party. The upperclassmen from my frat were friends with some of the upperclassmen from the rival frat, so they knew where their rooms were in the house, and they decided to take some things from their rooms. Me and the other freshmen weren’t sure about the idea, but the upperclassmen said it would be fine, saying that frats did this kind of thing to each other all the time and that it was all just part of tradition.
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