Fraternities will be able to hold rush this fall, as a result of a decision made by administration after reviewing a proposal submitted by the Fraternity Presidents’ Council. This year, however, will be the last year of fall rush.
“We accepted the majority of their proposal,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “There’s some ambivalence about doing this.”
In the proposal, the FPC suggested that fraternities provide more educational programming to its members. “We saw that there was a recognition that they needed to do something different,” Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matt Burns said. “They need to expand on their candidate education program [as part of the decision].”
As part of allowing rush this fall, administrators have asked fraternities to hold at least four educational programs throughout the pledge process. Each program will have a different educational theme – hazing, alcohol, contributions to the College’s educational program and ethics, according to Burns.
“That’s their responsibility to carry that out,” he said.
In addition, pledges will have to attend a program that the College puts on. “That program will focus on hazing,” Burns said.
All members of a fraternity will also be required to sign a letter of acknowledgment stating the hazing policy.
If there’s an allegation of hazing, the fraternity will be immediately placed on summary disaffiliation pending the results of a hearing, according to Burns.
These changes are designed to encourage the Greek community to take a more active role in preventing hazing.
“They have to start acting as a community,” Asbury said.
“The whole system is responsible for itself,” Dean of The College William Green said. “This really comes from their own plan.”
“They gave us reasons to reconsider,” Green said. “We picked up on their suggestions.”
Greek groups on campus appear pleased with the decision concerning fall rush.
“Part of the proposal we put in was that we recognized that there were problems,” Chairman of the Greek Review Board and junior Dustin Sherer said.
“It’s time to say we’re either a [Greek community] or not,” he added.
“Overall I was pretty pleased by the decision,” Chairman of the FPC and junior Matt Gabler said.
A trustee-level committee is currently being formed to evaluate Greek life at UR. The final recommendations will be released in Janurary, according to Burns.
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