All fraternities and sororities are still on social probation as greek leaders work with administrators on amending the proposed party registration policy.
Greek leaders are still questioning the validity of their probation because of a lack of written agreement establishing disciplinary action as punishment for not meeting a deadline on the proposed party registration policy.
“I am still questioning the administration,” Interfraternity Council (IFC) President and business administration junior Domenic Hjerpe said.
Following a meeting with other greek leaders and Cal Poly administrators Friday morning, Hjerpe raised the question of the validity of greek life’s probation to Dean of Students Jean DeCosta. She told them she would “look into it.”
“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.
DeCosta declined to comment about greek life’s probation, and referred questions to university spokesperson Matt Lazier.
In an email to greek leaders over the weekend, DeCosta confirmed there was never any document declaring probation as punishment for not meeting the deadline, Panhellenic President and business administration junior Danielle Durante said.
“She did email us letting us know that there was, in fact, no signed document,” Durante said.
Nevertheless, all fraternities and sororities are still on probation.
Lazier said in an email that social probation is “standard operating procedure” whenever there is a disagreement or delay in getting a necessary policy in place.
“With that deadline unmet, social probation stays in effect until the policy is agreed upon and in place,” Lazier said in the email.
When asked if there was any discussion of probation as a repercussion for not meeting a deadline during his time as IFC president last year, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Jason Colombini said there was not.
“There wasn’t any agreement on that because again, maybe I was naïve, but I just didn’t think we would miss a deadline,” Colombini said.
Colombini, who helped pass the deferred recruitment compromise, dismissed the idea that signed documentation was necessary to validate the probation.
“There doesn’t necessarily even need to be a written agreement that ‘If you don’t meet this, we’ll put you on probation,’” he said. “The school could honestly do just about whatever they want because they are the ones who are recognizing the fraternities, sororities and other clubs.”
The ASI clubs handbook states that probation includes “a designated time frame during which the club will be closely monitored.” In his email, Lazier confirmed this definition of probation applies to greek organizations.
“The designated time frame of this current probationary period is the time it takes the greek life organizations to draft and agree to a party registration policy and for that policy to be agreed to by administration and implemented,” Lazier wrote.
Hjerpe said it’s difficult to put a deadline on the policy negotiation process.
“It’s hard to create a ‘designated time frame’ for something, such as this policy, that has many moving parts and has to be approved by so many individuals and groups,” he said in an email.
Hjerpe declined to comment on whether he has plans to try to revoke probation before the compromise is resolved.
Greek life leaders were scheduled to meet with Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey on Monday, but Humphrey canceled because of a busy schedule, Hjerpe said. The vice president needs to approve the policy in order for it to pass, but greek leaders have yet to meet with him in 2014.
“We just wanted to make sure he stays in the loop and informed with our current progress, because he has not been attending any of our meetings between Dean of Students, Kathryn, Danielle, myself and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council president,” Hjerpe said.
Greek leaders have no meetings scheduled with DeCosta this week, as negotiations are at a stalemate until international Panhellenic organizations finish reviewing the policy, Durante said.
“It really just depends on when we hear back from nationals; that’s really the only reason we’re on pause,” Durante said. “Until they get back with not only their concerns, but alternatives to current clauses, we really have no reason to meet at this time.”
Gamma Phi Beta National President Krista Davis, who has been leading the nine Panhellenic national chapters in reviewing the policy, had a “great conversation” with O’Hagan on Friday to discuss what sections Panhellenic was not comfortable with, including the “reasonable observer” clause, Durante said.
“There were a few other ones from the different presidents that they were concerned with as well,” Durante said.
Durante said the national Panhellenic presidents had a “productive” weekend reviewing a recent draft of the policy at a conference this weekend, allowing them to collaborate in person.
“However, they’re still doing their research, still collaborating with their legal counsel and still investigating,” she said.
The plan was for the Panhellenic organizations to respond to Cal Poly with their suggestions and comments early this week, Durante said.
“I just know that they’re committed to getting this resolved as quickly as possible,” Durante said. “So this is definitely a priority for them.”