Lawmaker’s proposed fraternity ban is ‘shot across the bow’
After proposing a bill that would ban fraternities and sororities from Tennessee’s public colleges and universities, state Rep. John DeBerry has said his bill is an attempt to start a conversation and enact reform. The bill has been met with criticism by university administrations and Greek organizations. DeBerry is now speaking with leaders from both groups about the bill’s language and, in recent interviews, has softened his stance on trying to ban groups outright.
“The old Animal House mentality and that culture and that imagery, it has to go away,” he said. “It’s not cute anymore and it most certainly is not acceptable anymore.”
DeBerry called his legislation a “shot across the bow” in an effort to bring more accountability and transparency among sororities and fraternities at state schools.
~ The Tennessean
Beta joins SigEp in move to substance-free
Beta Theta Pi announced in February that all of its chapter homes would become substance-free spaces by Aug. 15, 2020. This closely aligns with SigEp’s own timeline, which calls for chapters to implement a substance-free facilities policy by Aug. 1, 2020.
[W]e call on all of our peer fraternities to enact similar measures …. With Farmhouse, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Phi Epsilon having already stepped forward on this matter, imagine if all 70 other inter/national fraternities took this same substance-free housing step we all know is inevitable and needed.
~ S. Wayne Kay
General Secretary, Beta Theta Pi
DU becomes latest to make homes substance-free
On May 16, 2018, Delta Upsilon publicly committed to making its chapter homes substance-free by Aug. 1, 2020.
Delta Upsilon chapter facilities must be safe, productive places to live and learn at all times. …
Removing alcohol from our facilities sends a clear message about our purpose, values and commitment to make campuses safe for all students.
~ E. Bruce McKinney
International Fraternity President, Delta Upsilon
West Virginia president suspends fraternity activities
West Virginia University has temporarily suspended all social programming and recruitment for the school’s 16 fraternities. During the pause, the school has introduced several reforms, including stronger oversight and higher academic requirements for fraternities and sororities. By fall 2020, members and chapters must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing with the school.
As someone who has worked closely with college students for nearly four decades, I know that today’s students can lead the way in solving their own biggest problem — reining in the small number of students whose increasingly negative behavior is damaging the reputation and credibility of all.
To make this happen, alumni and national chapters of fraternities and sororities, along with students and University leadership, must step up to combat behavior that flouts their organizations’ — and our University’s — core values.
~ E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University
Yale administration supports SigEp on substance-free
“It’s a really commendable initiative,” said Yale College Dean Marvin Chun. “We want these spaces to be safe and welcoming for all the students, and I think initiatives like this are fantastic.”
~ Yale Daily News
Florida presidents call for a ‘new normal’; one says SigEp offers model for Greek life
In November, Florida State President and SigEp alumnus John Thrasher, Florida State ’65, suspended all fraternities and sororities following the death of a Pi Kappa Phi pledge from his campus. “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Thrasher said. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.” Thrasher lifted the suspension in February after the school issued several policy changes that include limiting the presence of alcohol at Greek events.
In an opinion piece published in the University of Florida student paper, President Kent Fuchs addressed the future of Greek life on his campus.
I stand with President Thrasher and all other leaders who are setting a higher standard for all students, particularly members of the Greek community. …
Amid these institutional efforts, fraternities and sororities also need to take it upon themselves to raise the bar.
The good news is some already are.
In the past two years, SigEp, nationally and locally, has undergone a transformation. Policy changes remove pledging from membership and establish substance-free chapter houses as the fraternity standard. The fraternity has worked to establish what it calls the Balanced Man Program, which eliminates hazing and instills purpose, perspective, academic excellence, integrity, physical health and mental wellness.
~ KenT Fuchs
President, University of Florida