MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The new vice president of student life at West Virginia University is calling on student leaders to help change a campus party culture.
“I believe we have a lot of student leaders that are tired of the issue and they want to move it forward,” said Dr. William Shafer on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” noting that “WVU is clearly not the only institution working their way through this.”
While WVU’s spring semester has come to a close, several Greek policy changes will be implemented before the start of the fall semester in August.
“I think there are several measures, touch points, that we need to have to continue to move this in the right direction,” according to Shafer.
Those changes include the following:
– The start of Rush Week for fraternities and sororities will be pushed back to the sixth week this fall to allow new WVU students more time to adjust to college life.
– A Greek leadership retreat will be held during the second week of classes focused on expectations for fraternities and sororities, a week after a WVU Greek alumni roundtable discussion with Greek advisers.
– A new medical amnesty program is being developed that will potentially let students seek medical attention for themselves or other students without fear of punishments for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Additionally, Shafer said a national search would be conducted to find a director of Greek life for WVU. His goal is to make a hire by the start of the fall semester in August.
Shafer first announced the policy changes during a WVU Faculty Senate meeting earlier this week.
“We take it very seriously. I take it very seriously. I believe we have a lot of work to do here. We do have sense of urgency about this issue so we are working hard at this,” he said.
“I don’t think there is a magic bullet here or anywhere around the nation regarding these issues.”
WVU’s commencement ceremonies will be held this weekend in Morgantown.
This past school year included riots, expulsions for bad behavior, arrests, a student’s death and, at one point, the suspension of Greek life at WVU.
Last November, Nolan Burch, 18, a WVU freshman from Buffalo, N.Y., died of acute ethanol intoxication following an initiation event for Kappa Sigma fraternity. At least two fraternity members were charged with hazing in connection with Burch’s death.