Fraternities and sororities were taken off social probation on Friday after 13 weeks. Chapters can register social events as long as they adhere to the party registration policy, according to Panhellenic Council President Kristen Henry.
“There’s definitely a lot of things that we get to start implementing now, programming-wise and from a risk-reduction standpoint. I’m excited to see the new plan and see it put into action,” Henry said.
After reported sexual assaults in January, fraternities and sororities were put on social probation for 30 days until they could come up with an action plan to change the culture around sexual assault. They created the Students Taking Action Towards University Safety (STATUS) plan in response.
Administration revised the plan and approved it on March 23. Fraternities signed the revised plan and it was then up to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to approve STATUS. Every sorority chapter’s national headquarters reviewed the plan together and separately and gave the chapter presidents permission to sign the plan, according to Henry.
It took about four weeks for the National Panhellenic Conference to approve the STATUS plan, according to Interfraternity Council President and kinesiology senior Alex Horncliff.
“I do think (social probation) was extended maybe longer than it needed to be, but we got the work that we needed to get done,” Horncliff said. “The university held their agreement exactly as they said they would and I think we are on the way to really making a framework for how a lot of colleges will tackle sexual assault.”
During social probation, fraternities and sororities also made changes to the party registration policy. They added a section called “Risk Management,” which outlines how events should be run to reduce risks, according to Henry.
According to the online document, the Risk Management section includes:
- Prohibition of activities that “encourage inappropriate drinking behaviors” such as drinking games and shots
- Implementation of sober monitors who are responsible for “preventing open containers from leaving the facility”
- Developing a wristband system to identify those over 21 years old
- “Fraternity and Sorority Life Programs will review the educational program created in house that want to host events with alcohol” and designate a responsible person to be sober monitor at events
- Some members of the chapter will serve as sober monitors at parties that are exclusively between two or more chapters
Fraternities and sororities are expected to follow these new guidelines now that they are off social probation.
“I’m excited but there’s definitely still more to do,” Horncliff said. “We really have to keep our end of the bargain because at the end of the day, it’s great that we’re off social probation but we have to really focus on the reason why we were on social probation in the first place, and work to solve that issue.”