Six fraternities withdraw from USC, with harsh warnings from universities

Los Angeles, CA - August 12, 2022 - Isaac Ignatius, president of Phi Kappa Tau, moves his belongings from one fraternity home to his new home on

Isaac Ignatius, president of Phi Kappa Tau, moves his belongings to the new Fraternity Hall on Fraternity Row on 28th Street. Frustrated by strict party rules imposed following multiple allegations of sexual assault in a student dormitory last fall, the USC fraternity elected to cut ties with the university on Friday. However, Phai Kappa Tau has not made that decision yet. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

in rebellion against strict party rules Six USC fraternity groups imposed last year following allegations of sexual assault in student dormitories formally withdrew from the university on Friday, with warnings of “serious consequences” from campus administrators.

In a statement on Instagram Friday night, USC said, “We are disappointed that some USC fraternal groups are following an unfortunate national trend of withdrawing from the university.” It seems to be driven by a desire to eliminate the surveillance of

As students prepare to return to campus next week, USC officials had given the fraternity a Friday deadline to inform them of their decision. Monique S. Allard, interim vice-chancellor for student affairs, told The Times Friday that officials should ask other fraternity leaders to take advantage of the vast health and safety resources provided by professionals on campus. He said he was actively engaging in conversations to persuade him to benefit from.

According to Allard and a letter sent on August 6, fraternities who choose to leave may use USC logos and branding, access the campus’s Life in Greece portal, and participate in campus-wide committees and club fairs. You lose the right to participate or secure personal and professional leadership opportunities. Devin Walker, Director of Leadership Development for Fraternity and Sororities.

“Like other colleges and universities across the country, we strongly discourage students from joining fraternal societies that are not affiliated with USC,” the letter said. posted online to actively discourage students from joining such organizations.”

Despite these warnings, six of the 15 USC Interfraternity Council chapters have so far chosen to sever ties with USC. They are kappa alpha degree, pi kappa alpha, sigma alpha mu, sigma chi, tau kappa epsilon, and zeta beta tau.

Most leaders of the national fraternity and its USC chapters did not respond to requests for interviews.

The showdown at USC unfolded on other campuses, with fraternal groups protesting rules on haste, drinking and other activities imposed to create a safer environment, especially for women.Asn A 2019 survey of 182,000 students on 33 four-year campuses by. American university has found fraternity halls to be the top places mentioned in reports of non-consensual sexual contact.

Fraternity dropped out of campuses such as the University of Colorado Boulder, West Virginia University, Duke University, and the University of Michigan. In particular, many objected to banning her freshman recruitment during the fall semester. This rule also essentially imposes a requirement that a student first complete her 12 credits of coursework and maintain a 2.5 GPA before being eligible to attend a campus-related fraternity.

Still, 98.7% of the 6,210 member chapters of the 57 national and international male fraternity associations represented by the North American Interfraternity Conference operate with campus approval, the group said in a statement.

Both USC and fraternity say they have a lot to lose if they cut ties John Hechinger the author of “A True Gentleman: A Broken Pledge of American Fraternity” A 2017 book on fraternal culture focused on Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

“It would be a nightmare for a university to have a fraternity leave…because the university is likely to be involved in a lot of behavior that alarms the administration. It will be gone,” Hechinger said.

“These chapters will also lose a lot,” he added. It is a great advantage to be able to [USC] It will actively discourage people from doing things that can really hurt them. ”

The problem exploded last fall at USC, one of America’s universities. Top-ranked campus for living in Greece Approximately 17% of undergraduates are members of 48 fraternity and sorority clubs.

At the time, the university admitted that it was Delayed warning to campus Informed the community of six druggings and one sexual assault report in Sigma Nu in September. An additional eight of his reports of sexual assault and seven of his drug use at various times allegedly involving other unnamed fraternity groups were subsequently filed in October. it was done.

of The revelations sparked massive protests Hundreds of campus members attended, some demanding that the fraternity be abolished altogether. Five Title IX investigations related to these allegations are underway, Allard said.

In response to the outrage, USC President Carol L. Forte said last fall that she would begin a reform effort as part of her mission to “lead efforts to confront what’s wrong and fix what’s broken.” I promised.

A working group of fraternity and sorority leaders, faculty, administrators and staff then developed an action plan to strengthen safety measures. They include posting security guards at parties, including the stairs and hallways leading to bedrooms. Use scanners to screen for fake identities. Distribute wristbands to those over the age of 21. ban on barrels; require risk review meetings before and after the event;a summary was released last week.

USC suspended social events for all Interfraternity Council chapters last fall, but lifted restrictions for at least nine members after completing required safety training. Five fraternity groups remain prohibited from soliciting, holding social events, or both.

The North American Interfraternity Council opposes blanket penalties and broad recruitment restrictions as unfair to fraternities who have done nothing wrong.

However, the first-year fall rush “has been repeatedly shown to be dangerous for freshmen,” said a USC statement.

“Ideally, students spend their first semester on a college campus and connect academically and socially,” Allard said.

In a statement on Instagram, USC said its ex-fraternal fraternity was frustrated by campus measures designed to prevent sexual assault and substance abuse and address mental health and underage drinking issues. said. Fraternity has also “delayed the time it takes to investigate serious issues such as sexual assault,” but the process is regulated by state and federal governments, USC said.

At least one fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, told The Times in an Instagram message on Friday that its members were “trying to learn more about the situation so they can better assess all options,” but USC He said he had no plans to leave. This time.

At a fraternity row on 28th Street near USC, one of the fraternity members planning to quit said Friday that his family is choosing to cut ties with the university. rice field. They wanted more freedom and were frustrated by the rules banning social events for all his Interfraternity Council members.

“What happened at Sigma New was really bad, but the rest of the line didn’t think it was really fair,” said a fraternity member who asked to anonymize his name and organization. “We find all our friends here.”

The student said the alumni association planned to notify the university of his intention to withdraw on Friday. The fraternity has been discussing the split over the last year, he said, adding that he feels the university is kicking them out anyway and that Greek life on campus has a bad reputation.

“For us, it’s just a gathering,” he said.

He added that the defunct Flatts are working with experts to set up their own international exchange council, which will likely work in time for fall recruitment, including freshmen.As of Friday, Sigma Chi and Tau Kappa Epsilon posted a fall rush form for first graders to sign up.

Allard said she hopes fraternities considering leaving will reconsider their actions. and is subject to Title IX and other campus rules of conduct.

“We are all students, we are part of USC, and we care about all of them,” Allard said. “That is why it is so important to us that we take the time to think about potential decisions to make changes and partnerships with universities.”

This story originally appeared los angeles times.