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Crowds set fires, hurled bottles and tried to flip vehicles in several Morgantown neighborhoods after West Virginia upset No. 4 Baylor in Oct. 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Students at West Virginia University are owning up to behavioral issues and the party culture around campus that led to riots, arrests, a student’s death and the suspension of Greek life this semester.

“One of the things they told us was ‘we own the problem. We recognize it and we’re the ones who are going to fix it,'” relayed WVU Dean of Students Corey Farris.

Members from WVU’s 30 fraternities and sororities met with nationally known facilitators Kimberly Novak and Rick Barnes during an invitation-only forum Monday night to address the problems head-on and discuss how to the students and Greek community could begin changing the party culture around campus. During the fall semester riots broke out in Morgantown following an upset win over Baylor. At least three students were expelled as a result of the riots. Several more were disciplined by the university.

19 students were charged after police responded to the South Park Neighborhood in November to reports of intoxicated students screaming, yelling and engaging in disorderly conduct.

Finally last month, freshman Nolan Burch, 18, died during a fraternity activity.  He was reportedly a Kappa Sigma pledge.

WVU placed a moratorium on all Greek live activities on campus.  During that time, national fraternity leaders announced the revocation of Beta Theta Pi’s charter for unrelated issues.

“The issues we’ve had this fall semester, they bubbled to the surface. We didn’t get there overnight and the problem’s not going to be fixed overnight.”

During the discussion, students put everything on the table to be modified in an effort to begin address how to remedy the problem. Students talked about how to recruit new quality members, the best time to recruit new members, how long a period do you need for pledging and how to change their perception in the community.

“They know there are some thing their nationals are guiding them on that they need to modify locally but they also know they need to repair their image with the community. Not only are they looking at themselves as a Greek community but they’re looking at all students and all student organizations on campus,” said Farris.

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Comments

  • Stupid Hillbillies

    "... invitation-only forum Monday night to address the problems head-on .. " I love the transparent solution to the drunks and thugs, masquerading as students.

    Simple solution - a five year total suspension of ALL Greek activities, followed by a 5 year supervised probation of all activities, monitored by an impartial third party agency, at the Greek's 100% expense.

  • william

    If you don't know the answer, just google it to find out!
    LOL

  • william

    What a joke -
    Just look at the two head coaches at WVU=
    How many businesses in WV has this coach been kicked out of?
    The other coach, what did he do at the nike clinic at Robert Morris?
    LMAO

  • Greg

    First of all, EVERYONE, including students, alumni and fans need to quit perpetuating and glorifying the drunken couch burning stereotype of the WVU fan. When that starts, then the rest will fall into place. There's your starting point.

  • norm

    change the culture at wvu what a crock is gee leaving he makes jokes about priests at notredame he has an athletic director accused of fraud at least 5 alcholics among his coaches is it possible they are still selling degrees in some departments but NO ITS THE STUDENTS WVU IS NOTHING MORE THAN A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BESIDES A SEWER

    • Coal?

      Punctuation is always helpful.

      • jim

        Norm forgot to get his high school degree.

        • Homer

          Punctuation of no punctuation, high school degree or no high school degree, fact is fact.

  • Aaron

    While I believe WVU has issues, given that that every institution of higher learning has the same problems with the culture of drinking and college students, I believe that the events listed here are not connected in any way other than they all took place in Morgantown, at West Virginia University.

    With the understanding that I am in no way attempting to trivialize the young man’s death (an autopsy will reveal exactly what happened) some of this is being blown out or proportion, most notably the alleged riots.

    There was ~$3200 in actual property damage (I believe that is the number deduced for the 2 light posts and damaged red lights), wages to repair the damage, and about ~$11000 in overtime cost that was blamed on the recalcitrance because they could instead of applying it as it is normally absorbed after a game.

    The vast majority of dollars claimed by officials is for the purchase pf equipment for future events which is simply not justifiable. If students are going to change the culture, at least be honest about what culture they are changing.

  • ViennaGuy

    Color me a cynic, but I'll believe that the students have "owned up to it" when we see that the students actually police themselves and report any troublemakers to the authorities.

    Saying you're going to change is easy ... the change itself is the hard part.

    I really do hope that the students follow through.

  • Ron from Morgantown

    I really do need to web cam my business at 3 am - and send it to Mr Gee . Then he will see the real WVU .

    • jfk

      in my opinion, business's opened at 3am in Morgantown are contributing to the problem.

      • Ron from Morgantown

        Yes , Krogers and McDonald's are a public nuisance and should be shut down after midnight . Do you see how speaking in generalities does little to contribute to solving the problems ?

  • R Johnson

    What took so long?

  • Ron from Morgantown

    WVU is as concerned as the fraternity members about the solvency of the Greek system at WVU . They are heavily invested as both the landlord and as a tool to recruit out of state students . But that has nothing to do with these silly meetings . They accomplish nothing except make the petty bourgeoisie like Hoppy happy . The real heavy lifting is being done behind closed doors . I'm told a major whisper campaign will be conducted by WVU to dissuade students from participating in surveys like the Princeton Review and Playboy .

  • Slim

    Drunken Jersey savages.

    • Jonus Grumby

      You mean like Elijah Wellman? The player for WVU who is from Huntington? What part of Jersey is that located?

      • Ron from Morgantown

        Huntington is actually in Ohio .

        • jwp

          like Motowns in PA?? hes actually from Wayne County

        • Jonus Grumby

          Is that close to Jersey?

        • Tom

          Are you sure? I think Huntington is in Kentucky.