WVU bans 5 fraternities in ongoing debate
- Five fraternities are banned from West Virginia University for 10 years or more after a contentious battle with university President Gordon Gee over stricter rules enacted in response to reports of alcohol and drug abuse and sexual and disorderly misconduct on campus, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The five groups, university officials and the North American Interfraternity Conference were in talks to address the issue. In his letter announcing the ban, however, Gee said some groups had proceeded with the recruitment and initiation activities that the new rules had postponed until spring.
- Efforts to increase oversight of Greek life on campus stem from the November 2014 death of a freshman student during a hazing ritual. Gee said the fraternities were "putting students at risk" by ignoring the delay of recruitment and initiation.
Our University no longer recognizes the following fraternities and will prohibit the chapters from applying to be formally recognized for a period of at least 10 years: Alpha Sigma Phi, Kappa Alpha Order, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Chi, and Theta Chi. https://t.co/LVAa5M1Cr3— E. Gordon Gee (@gordongee) September 27, 2018
In August, Gee sent an email to parents and students recommending students avoid certain fraternities after the groups said they were going to separate from the university to avoid the new rules. In an interview with Inside Higher Ed at that time, Gee explained his position and said that if you "gave most college presidents truth serum" most would not have a favorable view of Greek life. Besides WVU, he has been president at The Ohio State University, the University of Colorado and Vanderbilt University.
In September, Monmouth University in New Jersey indefinitely suspended all fraternity and sorority activities unrelated to education after its Greek Senate failed to come up with a plan administrators said was sufficient to address recent incidents involving hazing, drug and alcohol use, and a lack of academic focus by their students. Several institutions have suspended or restricted fraternities' activity following such incidents.
Presidents from three universities are attempting to get colleges to work together on the issue. They want to develop a national scorecard to track Greek group misconduct and find new ways to address the related problems. Some note that it is difficult to take action against Greek organizations because their student members are a sizable part of the campus community and also are supported by influential alumni who were members.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 'With a heavy heart,' WVU president bans five fraternities