MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University has agreed to throw a lifeline to fraternities who chose to remain affiliated with the school.
Organizations agreeing to participate in a new pilot program offering secondary recruitment — which will include first-semester students — must commit in writing to remain an Interfraternity Council (IFC) member in good standing at WVU.
Five fraternities severed ties with WVU last month, pledging to form a new Independent intrafraternity council.
Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Chi, and Theta Chi are all banned for at least ten years following their decision to dissociate in September, claiming WVU’s ‘Reaching the Summit’ initiative violated the due process of students, selectively singled out certain fraternities, and enacted onerous restrictions.
The proposal, which was written by students, offers guidelines for students who wish to rush — including first-semester students. University administrators, including WVU President Gordon Gee, have in recent weeks suggested a program like this could offset concerns that the five dissociated fraternities would be better able to recruit WVU students.
“It is very tightly written,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. “We’ve got some strong oversight. We’ve got GPA’s to look at that we didn’t have before”
Farris said the implementation of this pilot program is being done in good faith between students and administration.
“(WVU President Gordon Gee) is a big supporter of it,” Farris said.
Guidelines will include the following:
- Guidelines for students, including those in their first semester seeking IFC membership, must have a minimum 2.75 GPA at the time of recruitment (midterm grades will be considered).
- The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will review and approve all scheduled activities related to new member recruitment.
- The director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will meet with all new member educators to set expectations.
- All Rush events must be alcohol-free.
- IFC organizations must publicize their recruitment schedules.
- University staff will closely monitor recruitment and new member education activities.
- No new member education events will be held between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Chapter meet-and-greets will begin this Wednesday, Oct. 24. New member education is to conclude by Friday, Nov. 16.
“The President has said from the beginning: students when given the opportunity will come up with great ideas and will hold themselves accountable,” he said. “They knew when we’ve talked to them that we meant business. We wanted them to be as safe as we could, and we wanted them to be great student organizations.”
Students will be required to submit their secondary rush schedule in advance to WVU administration.
“We will be dropping in on those,” Farris said. “Well have detailed schedules from dates and times for all of their events. We will walk in on those unannounced to make sure that they are following the guidelines. And, if not, we will stop everything in a heartbeat.”
No facet, Farris said, is being ignored in the school’s quest to reform Greek Life.
“We’ve brought someone in who is outside of our culture to make sure we are not missing something,” Farris said.
The five social fraternities which dissociated from WVU in September are not eligible to participate.