Greek leaders are near to reaching an agreement with Cal Poly administrators over a trial party registration policy, Dean of Students Jean DeCosta said. If greek life doesn’t approve a policy by Friday evening, the university will place all greek chapters on probation.
Following a “constructive” meeting with Dean of Students Jean DeCosta on Tuesday morning, greek council presidents have until 5 p.m. Friday to reach a compromise on a proposed party registration policy.
“There will be a lot of give and take in the next few days in order to hopefully pass the policy on time,” Interfraternity Council (IFC) President and business administration junior Dominic Hjerpe said.
According to DeCosta, she and the greek council presidents are “very close” to reaching a resolution on the policy. There are “one or two little areas” that still need to be sorted out, though she declined to cite any specific items.
“We just need to resolve the areas that are still confusing to them, that we feel need to be clarified for them, and then they can clarify to us those couple of sticking areas that we just need the right language on,” DeCosta said.
Panhellenic Council President and business administration junior Danielle Durante and DeCosta both said they expect a deal to be reached by Friday, while Hjerpe said there are still some points of concern among fraternities.
Both IFC and Panhellenic, as well as the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, must pass the policy by Friday.
Included in the latest draft of the policy are rules that forbid drinking games, hard alcohol and kegs at fraternity parties, Hjerpe said.
According to DeCosta, the hard alcohol ban is something that was already instituted during fall quarter under a new risk management plan.
“It’s a part of that policy, and so it automatically gets folded into this policy,” DeCosta said.
Another issue being raised is the number of parties each fraternity can host per quarter, a concern raised by Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey, Durante said.
“The number of how many parties you could have per quarter was another big debate,” Durante said. “Keith wants that restricted, whereas we were more coming from the lines of, ‘If we register every party, why is that not OK?’”
As part of the discussion, Panhellenic proposed a one-party-per-week limit for each fraternity chapter, including both main and satellite houses, Hjerpe said.
When asked about his opinions on both the alcohol restrictions and party limit proposal, Hjerpe declined to comment.
The alcohol restrictions, he said, are “in the current policy, and some of those points are up for negotiation and are concerns.”
The policy also states a party with over 100 people must be registered at least 10 days in advance, and a party with less than that must be registered at least five days prior, DeCosta said.
In Tuesday’s meeting, leaders worked with DeCosta to reach a mutual understanding of what would qualify as a “fraternity party,” Durante said.
“Really right now the definition for what is a party is up to the school,” Durante said. “It’s whatever a reasonable person deems to be a party. So that’s why we were just trying to discuss that as to just make sure that we all know what is and isn’t a party.”
DeCosta defined a “fraternity party” as a party thrown at a main house, satellite house or a residence where greeks primarily from the same chapter live.
“I think that one knows if it’s an official fraternity party,” DeCosta said.
An updated draft of the policy was sent to all fraternity and sorority chapter presidents late Tuesday night, and they will vote on whether or not they think the policy should be passed, Hjerpe said.
“If there are not any questions or concerns, just speaking for IFC, I will conduct a vote,” Hjerpe said. “But if there are questions or concerns, it will go back to deliberation.”
The policy is one of a series of changes made by administrators and greek leaders as part of the deferred recruitment compromise this past June. The policy agreed upon this quarter will be a draft version that will be revisited in a month and a half, then revised and finalized by the beginning of spring quarter, DeCosta said.
“It’s a test drive for them, and it’s a test drive for the university,” she said. “And then we can kind of iron out the details that are a little bumpy as we go along here.”
If administrators and greek councils are not able to reach an agreement on the party registration policy draft by 5 p.m. Friday, all greek organizations will be placed on social probation, DeCosta said.
Social probation forbids fraternities and sororities from holding official social events, which means fraternities would postpone any scheduled events, Hjerpe said. Durante said probation would not likely be a problem for Panhellenic sororities, who have opted to do more sisterhood events in the beginning of the quarter in lieu of social events.
“We kind of warned everyone; I sent an email over break just to make sure people didn’t have anything lined up for the first week or two,” Durante said. “Most do not, so at this point it’s not really an issue.”
All three councils will be affected by the policy change. Like the IFC, the United Sorority and Fraternity Council has the ability throw parties and participate in exchanges, semi-formals and formals, Hjerpe said.
Though sororities are not allowed to host parties, they do participate in exchanges, semi-formals and formals, as well as attend fraternities’ parties and other events, Durante said.
“Our girls are at these parties, so that’s where we’re just as much involved,” Durante said.
If social probation goes into effect Friday, it will be the second consecutive quarter IFC faces probation. IFC was suspended last quarter before agreeing to the new risk management policy, also part of the deferred recruitment compromise, that required fraternities to conduct between five and seven educational meetings per school year.
Benjy Egel contributed to this story.