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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dramatic chapter for UA Greek life draws to a close

    The Greek community underwent a series of changes during the past year, or perhaps it was just more of the same.

    One of the biggest events for the community last fall was re-establishing the Delta Gamma chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, said Director of Fraternity and Sorority programs Johanne Jensen.

    “”We’ve seen really high numbers for sorority recruitment registration and demand for another sorority, another option for women,”” Jensen said.

    Alpha Delta Pi was re-chartered in October following a previous suspension when their charter was revoked. Today the chapter’s membership count is more than 150 women.

    Pi Kappa Alpha and Zeta Beta Tau joined the UA Intrafraternity Council and received their letter of recognition last semester.

    Changes and additions to the Intrafraternity Council rush process were also implemented this spring, said Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Programs Zachary Nicolazzo.

    A more structured process will create a more equal playing field for all fraternity organizations, Nicolazzo said.

    “”We want to show rushees that there is more to being in a fraternity than living in a house or having a recognized chapter facility,”” he said. “”The idea is to get them to a good chunk of organizations.””

    IFC saw several risk management issues this semester, forcing three of the UA’s largest fraternities, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kappa Sigma and Kappa Alpha Order, off campus.

    Regarding the chapters who lost their recognition on campus, Associate Dean of Students Veda Kowalski said she could not comment on those cases as they are still in the appeal process.

    “”As in any community, not just Greek life, there are issues on college campuses that we always address ð- issues concerning alcohol, management of parties, violence and hazing, not just unique to greek organizations but as a community,”” Kowalski said.

    All three fraternities who lost their recognition were housed organizations. While many of the housing plans are still in progress for the fall, some have been finalized.

    “”(Pi Kappa Alpha) will be moving into their old facility, now occupied by Sigma Pi,”” Nicolazzo said, “”Sigma Chi will be moving into Kappa Sigma’s house.””

    Within the past few years, Greek Life has implemented health, wellness and education advocacy programs throughout the community in hopes of creating more well-rounded and educated greek leaders, Jensen said.

    “”We’ve done everything from nutrition to sexually transmitted infections, hazing education, sexual assault, alcohol and drugs – a variety of topics,”” Jensen said.

    Kowalski said there is a need to eliminate some of the problems within Greek life while focusing on the positive parts of the community.

    “”We have some wonderful student leaders within the greek organizations who are really talking within their chapters, we have role models doing remarkable work not only with their organizations but one-on-one with various chapter leadership,”” Kowalski said. “”On the other hand, we’ve seen some resurgence of hazing (and) extreme alcohol intoxication which are issues we are in process of addressing.””

    There will be new policies in place to begin early with risk management education to inform potential new members upon registering for fall rush.

    “”We’re hoping that before the student gets here we can inform them of our expectations, resources on campus,”” Jensen said. “”This summer we will be working on projects to make sure that risk management is something that is carried through.””

    Part of the registration now asks students to read two important statements that they must agree to, she said.

    Chapters have also been asked to create an action plan to focus on issues that may threaten the existence of the Greek organizations, Nicolazzo said.

    “”These can range anywhere from alcohol or drug use, sexual assault, any issues that we may have seen even on a national level,”” he said.

    Despite all of the turmoil, many outstanding achievements have been accomplished through the work of the greek chapters, Jensen said.

    CATwalk, one of the biggest student-run events within the greek community, raised more than $108,000 this year with more than 2,500 students in support of the Bobby Olson Endowment for cancer research, Jensen said.

    In addition, Up Till Dawn, another philanthropic event within the greek community, raised more than $35,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, she said.

    “”This is a year where there have been great strides in academic excellence in quite a few organizations, increased overall GPA, philanthropic efforts and much more,”” Kowalski said.

    “”The challenge for these organizations is taking ownership of looking at these issues and coming up with a plan to address them and create an environment that’s healthy, supportive and dynamic – one that affords students the opportunities for great leadership experience,”” Kowalski said.

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