IFC President Domenic Hjerpe (left) and Panhellenic Council President Danielle Durante before their meeting Thursday with Dean of Students Jean DeCosta.
Fraternities and sororities are still on probation following a meeting between the leaders of greek life and administrators Thursday morning as concerns grow from national greek organizations, Interfraternity Council (IFC) President and business administration junior Domenic Hjerpe said.
“The current drafted policy that IFC passed, the administration is vetoing because of (Section) Nine, what defines a party,” Hjerpe said.
Though administrators approved a change that would require birth dates to be collected from only guests 21 and older, they did not approve a change made to Section Nine regarding what defines a fraternity party, Hjerpe said.
The previous draft said one or more of the criteria in Section Nine could be met to determine whether an event was a fraternity party. Greek leaders revised that section at a meeting Monday to state two or more of the criteria being met would define a party, Hjerpe said.
“It says two or more of the following points will define an alcohol-related social event, and the administration will not approve that,” Hjerpe said.
However, even if administrators had approved all revised changes to the policy, the draft still would not have been passed, Panhellenic President and business administration junior Danielle Durante said.
In order for it to pass, all nine of Cal Poly’s Panhellenic chapters’ national organizations must approve the policy, and they are expressing concerns, Durante said.
“My international president Krista Davis is now leading this movement, and she’s spoken to all eight other national presidents,” Durante said. “They’re not only reviewing this document individually, but as a team, and they’re also giving it to the insurance agencies and their legal counsel.”
In a statement to Durante, a representative from one of the national Panhellenic chapter organizations said their goal is to collaborate with the university to come to a consensus on guidelines that are reasonable, in alignment with national policies and in the best interest of Panhellenic members.
“They’re taking this situation very seriously as it will set a precedent for future situations,” Durante said.
The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) is also involved in the negotiating process, and though their approval is not necessary to pass the policy, their input is “very important,” Hjerpe said. When asked what parts of the policy the organization is concerned with, he said, “Basically the entire thing.”
“They have lots of resources at their disposal and they have seen policies like these at different universities and they can help give valuable insight,” Hjerpe said.
Hjerpe said numerous alumni from IFC fraternities have also reached out to him to express their concern that the policy is too strict.
Though probation seems indefinite for greek organizations until the policy is passed, both Durante and Hjerpe questioned the validity of their probation in today’s meeting with Dean of Students Jean DeCosta.
Hjerpe said he asked DeCosta why they were on probation when there was no signed document stating that would be the repercussion for failing to reach an agreement.
“It was based around if they can take judicial action for a deadline not being met because we have never received any documentation that says that,” Hjerpe said. “We wanted to question their authority on putting us on probation, and they said they’ll look into it and tabled the discussion.”
DeCosta declined to answer questions Thursday after the meeting, and directed all media inquiries to Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier.
After speaking with DeCosta, Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News that social probation is, “standard operating procedure for her office in an instance like this.”
“With that deadline unmet, social probation stays in effect until the policy is agreed upon and in place,” Lazier wrote. “As she described it to me, it gives both sides and opportunity to hold steady and work on getting the new policy worked out and adopted.”
Durante said the proposed party registration policy states an interim policy review will take place after a draft is agreed on, which could outline a possible probationary period should the deadline not be met. Because it is not a signed document, however, it should not be in effect, she said.
“There is no signed documentation from Jason Colombini or Anca Todor, the previous IFC and Panhellenic presidents, that confirmed we would be on probation if a deadline was not met,” Durante said.
As of now, there are no plans for future meetings with administrators to negotiate. When asked if there was any chance of probation being revoked before an agreement is reached, Hjerpe gave his own opinion.
“I believe it should be, especially if there is no documentation,” he said.