Members of the fraternity and sorority community at UWG got a wake-up call last semester when university officials implemented a moratorium banning any on or off campus events involving alcohol.
Presidents and advisors of each Greek organization received a letter detailing the rules of the moratorium. University officials decided to implement this moratorium after seeing 41 individual conduct charges against members of fraternity and sorority life last semester.
The organizations with the largest number of individual offenders in the Greek community were members of Pi Kappa Phi with a total of eight charges and members of Chi Omega and Sigma Chi, which each had a total of five charges. There are also currently six cases of sexual assault involving members of the fraternity and sorority community under investigation.
“The majority of the conduct involved alcohol and mishandling of risk management at events with alcohol,” said Alicia Caudill, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. “Part of this moratorium was to say that everyone is responsible for this and you can’t just rely on a President, Vice President, or Risk Management Chair to be completely responsible for everything. It really is about people’s individual behaviors.”
Along with the charges against individual members, the university also has organizational charges for hazing open against Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Chi and Pi Kappa Phi, as well as charges against Chi Phi for furnishing alcohol to minors.
The university brought charges against Pi Kappa Alpha last year and levied sanctions on the whole fraternity. Once the chapter completes the requirements the university set for them, they will be permitted to return as an affiliated chapter of Greek life. Delta Chi’s National Headquarters revoked their charter, meaning they are no longer a chapter at UWG, but the brothers still have open litigation through the school. Pi Kappa Phi has argued their case, but has yet to be notified of the university’s decision.
“We’re always in this balancing role of protecting students and keeping them safe but also realizing that student life, particularly fraternities and sororities, are capable students who can lead and help us move the community forward,” said Caudill.
In order to have the moratorium lifted on the scheduled date of Feb. 1, Greek organizations must attend training for the new social policy, Bystander training and Title IX training.
“At the end of January, all the organizations that have complied with the moratorium will get to move forward with the process,” said Caudill.
The university wanted to rewrite the social policy following a similar ban placed on Greek life last spring. During that moratorium, Greek organizations could not serve alcohol at events hosted on campus but still had the freedom to hire a third-party vendor to supply alcohol for off-campus events such as socials or crush parties.
A small group of students collaborated to write the new social policy and made changes to require more upfront planning from organizations, including how they will handle risk management and the facilitation of alcohol at an event.
Caudill worked with Scott Lingrell, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Michael Steele, Assistant Director for Greek Life, to form a Student Advisory Board to allow student voice and input to be heard regarding the state of Greek life at UWG. A member of each of the Greek councils serves on the board and they have meetings scheduled twice a month to keep the Greek community on track after the moratorium has been lifted.