The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Greeks held to high standards

Greeks held to high standards

Behind the UA Greek Life party scene, there is more than meets the eye. Many times while fraternity members appear to enjoy themselves at social functions, they are simultaneously keeping in mind their organizational rules and regulations so that no consequential incidents will occur.

Often, when a fraternity or sorority is removed from campus, students do not know why or how it happened.

Veda Kowalski, UA senior associate dean of students, oversees the student code of conduct and points out that reports come from various sources such as police, resident life, Greek Life and witnesses in some cases.

The dean of students investigates the cases by obtaining information from those sources in order to ascertain what happened.

“”From there we make a determination whether a violation occurred or not,”” Kowalski said. “”If we don’t have supporting information, the case is dismissed. On the other hand, if we find information that a violation occurred, then we look at sanctions.””

Sanctions are determined on a case-to-case basis, but can range from warnings to expulsion. According to Kowalski, these investigations will be more prevalent this year than in the past.   

University of Arizona Police Department public information officer Sgt. Juan Alvarez states that officers look to see if there is a disturbance created and large amounts of underage drinking. This usually results in a red tag from the city or the police shutting the party down.

“”As a normal course of conduct, if we arrest a student who is cited, we make a referral to dean of students.”” Alvarez states.

He adds that officers observe the majority of alcohol arrests first hand.

Alvarez said that students will rarely report underage drinking and often city police will get calls from neighbors and then, if it is a Greek party, the city will call UAPD.

Based on the Judicial History Report, seven houses are under sanctions from the UA and two others remain under investigation for allegations.

Austin Byrne, an aerospace and mechanical engineering junior and Pi Kappa Alpha member, explains that there is a mandatory training course given when individuals are still pledging that outline the Greek Life codes of conduct and the different rules.

The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership also provides a packet to prevent violations from occurring.

The packet covers a wide range of topics from security to alcohol and mentions certain university standards; including that the only alcohol that can be consumed at an on-campus event is alcohol with 6 percent alcohol content or less. It also states alcohol is limited to six 12-ounce beers per person or four wine coolers per person.

After the dean of students sends a letter to the house saying they are under investigation, the chapter gets an opportunity to defend themselves. The final decision is based on accusations, whether those accusations are true and what the outcome will be rests with the Dean of Students’ Office, said Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity President Darren Thompson.

In 2009, Pi Kappa Alpha petitioned to their organization’s nationals to get officially recognized as a fraternity on the UA campus. After they were established on campus, they underwent a five-month probation period after a house party.

Last year, four fraternities lost their university recognition from hazing violations and/or by providing an environment conducive to sexual assault. When a fraternity loses its recognition, they are taken off campus for a number of years, most commonly five years, and then is allowed to petition to return.

Thompson now believes the fraternity is more connected to campus after the experience. He confirms that there are a number of policies to ensure the fraternity follows appropriate codes of conduct and recognizes the importance of them.

“”If you violate a policy, you’re risking chapter opportunities,”” Thompson said. “”We try and follow them as closely as possible.””

When asked how he would rank his fraternity’s adherence to codes of conduct, Thompson said he would choose an eight.

“”We do strive to be gentlemen on campus, but there is always room for improvement,”” he said.

There are two annual symposiums held on campus to further assist Greek members. The Sophomore Symposium, which was first held last year, is held through Fraternity and Sorority Programs and educates sophomores on bystander intervention, how to be a good big brother or sister, academic success and other topics that are relevant for sophomores to know, said Zachary Nicolazzo, coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Programs.

In addition, there is a New Member Symposium, which is similar in scope but limited to new Greek Life members.

Andrea Rose, a pre-architecture sophomore and member of Chi Omega, has been in the sorority for two years.

“”We really care how we are perceived on campus, and we are proud of our reputation for having the highest GPA (grade-point average) on campus,”” Rose said. “”We want to live up to that.””

Rose said that her experience with the Sophomore Symposium was “”not the most exciting thing in the world,”” and was very similar to the New Member Symposium, but she found it to be more inspirational.

Sorority charters are written to be more strict than those of the fraternities on matters such as alcohol and parties.

“”The girls try to be as respectful as they can and abide by the rules,”” Rose said.

Recruitment chairman and physiology and religious studies senior Jeff Kiser explains that Phi Delta Theta has a substance-free facility, meaning no illegal drugs or alcohol are present in the chapter house. Kiser said the fraternity was the first international fraternity to pass such a policy in 2000. “”Originally, it was very revolutionary and people didn’t know what to think about it,”” he said. “”But now we are definitely starting to see the benefits.””

He feels that the quality of men involved is higher because the school understands the house is not just about partying, but about values. As president in 2009, Kiser was relieved that the fraternity did not have to deal with sanctions or violations.

The house recently received the Dean of Students Award for Excellence in the Greek community.

“”Everyone was a little surprised since we have 22 members; most people perceive Greek life as having big numbers and that’s not what it’s about,”” Kiser said.

More to Discover
Activate Search