MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Parents of WVU students have received an official letter from the university warning that there are ‘dissident fraternities’ attemping to withdraw their association from West Virginia University.
The university announced Monday three of the fraternities that fell short of meeting new academic standards that went into effect with the start of the new semester notifed WVU that they would sever ties and continue to operate off-campus as independent organizations.
In February, WVU placed a moratorium on social activity for all 16 members of the Interfraternity Council.
Fraternities, working in conjunction with university representatives, needed to agree to become compliant with new standards by August 1.
The new strategic plan issues new guidelines for sexual misconduct, hazing, alcohol and drug use, racism and prejudice, and physical violence.
Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Kappa Alpha Order renounced WVU recognition in a letter to the school. A fourth fraternity, Sigma Chi, sent a similar notifcation dated August 10.
Before the letter was sent, Alpha Sigma Phi was listed by WVU as suspended indefinitely; Phi Sigma Kappa was listed as suspended through Fall 2020; Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi are suspended pending action plan approval.
Two of the fraternities in question have since rescinded their letters, agreeing to a reconciliation meeting Tuesday between fraternity alumni and national leadership.
Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi have not agreed to rescind their notice.
According to a university spokesperson, Sigma Chi’s national office says it does not support the move and has placed the chapter on indefinite suspension. Kappa Alpha has also reportedly withdrawn its initial support.
The fraternities are reportedly citing the policies of West Virginia University, recently enacted under the ‘Reaching the Summit’ plan, as the reason for potential disassociation.
WVU President Gordon Gee issued his own letter, saying that any unrecognized fraternities will be prohibited from participating in the WVU-recognized Interfraternity Council, any recognized sponsor programs with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, University-sponsored activities like intramurals, nor any activity sponsored by a recognized student organization.
“I want to resolve this issue, also,” Gee said Sunday. “But I will not allow our students or the rules of the University to be subverted or threatened. My first responsibility is for the safety of each student at this institution. Sanctioned rogue behavior by national fraternity leadership is irresponsible and will result in further deterioration of support for Greek organizations in this country.”
In June, it was reported that Phi Sigma Kappa and Pi Kappa Alpha had additional violations that occurred in the time after “Reaching the Summit” was announced.
Matthew Richardson, Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at WVU, told MetroNews in June that the issues that led to Greek Life reform are centered around a number of IFC members.
“The problems are occurring there.”
“We will not allow the misguidance of a few to keep us from creating a vibrant, healthy and productive fraternity and sorority community on our campus,” Gee added.