GSB president lived at apartment Stebens visited the night of fall

James Heggen and Bethany Pint

Government of the Student Body President Daniel Fischer was a roommate of Joseph Baye, who was cited for failure to prevent consumption in the Kaleb Stebens case. Fischer has since moved out of the apartment.

The incident set off a number of meetings with GSB officials and advisers about the future of Fischer’s term as GSB president.

Jonathan Turk, GSB speaker of the senate and junior in political science, said he had a number of talks with Fischer both one-on-one and with others present.

“We basically talked to Dan and said, ‘Dan I don’t really have the information, I don’t have Ames Police reports, I don’t have university judicial stuff, I don’t know any of that stuff,’” he said. “‘But if there is some sort of involvement here, it would … be in your best interest to go ahead and disclose that now and we need to start talking as a government.’”

Turk said he told Fischer if he was involved in the incident, he should step down as GSB president.

“If it is shown that there was legally wrongdoing, if he was involved with this, it provides a very serious ethical violation in my opinion,” he said. “And if that was the case I would expect a resignation, honestly.”

However, Fischer, who maintains he did nothing wrong, declined to step down.

Fischer, who is a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, had been at the apartment the night Stebens, freshman in liberal arts and sciences open option, was at the apartment but said he was asleep during the party and had no knowledge of it. He said he has been cooperative with the police concerning the incident and they know he lived at the apartment.

On the Saturday of the party, Fischer said after the football game, he went back to FarmHouse to get some food and do some laundry. He then went home to his apartment where his roommate, Baye, junior in mechanical engineering and member of FarmHouse, was watching TV with a couple of friends.

“One of my roommates and a couple of his friends were watching SportsCenter,” he said. “It wasn’t like there was anything going on, and so after that I really don’t know what was going on because I was asleep.”

Fischer said he went to bed at about 10:45 p.m.

“Fischer wasn’t there, he was in bed, and had really nothing to do with it. To kind of clear his name, he was asleep, he didn’t really have any knowledge of anything,” Baye said.

The next morning Fischer heard that Stebens had fallen. He had a GSB commitment that he was unable to attend because he went to see Stebens in the hospital. He called a number of GSB officers to inform them about the incident.

Baye, who was cited in this case, said there weren’t enough people at the apartment to call it a party.

“We had a few guys over and watched a few highlights of the game. It wasn’t a party at all, it was just a couple of guys watching highlights of the Iowa State game,” he said.

However, he could not remember exactly how many people were there.

“I couldn’t really tell you — just enough to fill up a couch, that’s about it,” he said.

Maggie Luttrell, GSB vice president and senior in history, said she and Fischer had several meetings after the incident, including a few with GSB advisers.

“We had meetings with several GSB people and Daniel and myself,” she said. “About what kind of reaction or proactive movements we should be taking in terms of this.”

Resignation and impeachment were discussed at the meetings.

“From those meetings, the general feeling from GSB was that he should abdicate his office,” she said.

However, Luttrell would not comment on whether she was in favor of a Fischer resignation.

Gail Ferlazzo, associate director of the Memorial Union and GSB adviser of the legislative branch, said Fischer talked to her about the situation one-on-one the Monday following Stebens’ fall. Then there were two meetings the following Tuesday and Wednesday with Ferlazzo, Fischer and Dione Somerville, dean of students and GSB adviser to the executive branch. Luttrell was present at one of the meetings, but Ferlazzo said her schedule prevented her from attending both.

The first meeting was to inform Ferlazzo that the fall had occurred and that Stebens had been at his apartment. The one-on-one meeting and follow-up meeting were centered around discussing the facts surrounding the incident. In the third meeting, Ferlazzo said possible outcomes and consequences were discussed.

“It was really just weighing out the pros and cons in terms of impact of this situation on the various roles that Daniel has,” she said. “It was kind of playing the ‘what if’ scenario, as far as if there is any allegations that were made in terms of his involvement — what impact that would have from a public relations standpoint, in terms of the roles that he plays.”

This included what the positives and negatives of stepping down or staying on as GSB president were.

But Ferlazzo said she was not a part of the resignation meetings with GSB officials.

Ferlazzo said at no point did she give any advice of what Fischer should do.

“It was really helping the students to come up with those conclusions. Again, the costs and the benefits,” she said.

Somerville said she could not recall any specific details from the conversations she had with Fischer after the incident because it was several weeks ago.

“I can tell you that any time I have a meeting with Maggie and Dan or other folks in GSB, it really is around governance issues. It’s around leadership, it’s around student leadership, things of that nature. So I don’t really have any specifics to give you,” Somerville said.

Stebens fell from the third floor of FarmHouse Fraternity in the early morning hours of Sept. 7. He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering in his hometown of Davenport.

Fischer said he had three other roommates at the apartment. Only Baye has been cited.

Baye was given a municipal citation for a prevention of consumption infraction because there was underage alcohol consumption at the party. According to the law, anyone living at a residence who knows of a party can be held liable for the infraction.