Enhancing the Health and Sustainability of OSU’s Fraternity & Sorority Life
January - May 2017
Imperative for Change:
For over 100 years, fraternities and sororities have made an immeasurable impact at Oregon State University (OSU). Throughout the past century, through leadership, scholarship and philanthropy, our students have been united by a common bond of Greek excellence. In our shared history, OSU’s fraternities and sororities were nationally recognized as leaders, innovators, and pioneers the in the Greek movement. Our Greek community has recently contributed to the OSU and broader community through participating in more than 40,000 community service hours, raising over $250,000 in philanthropy, and holding leadership positions in over 260 campus organizations.
However, over the last decade, our organizations have fallen behind and also out of alignment with the foundations which made them great. As our Greek communities begin their next 100-year journey, OSU is committed to elevating the community to meet the challenges and opportunities that are ahead. In order to ensure the lasting legacy of these communities, it is our hope that we become a campus aligned with the nationally recognized best practices and standards of both fraternities and sororities as well as their governing bodies. Through this commitment, we hope to become a community leading the nation in its commitment to Greek academic excellence, service, philanthropy, and development of our best and brightest students.
We will raise our standards to meet and exceed national-level advances, reject the current status quo, and commit to becoming a model Greek community that provides exceptional community leadership and membership development for all chapters and individual members.
To accomplish this, we are charging a taskforce, representative of the Greek Life community collectively, to develop a comprehensive set of policy, process and values-based program enhancements that represent data-informed methods of improving the health of Greek Life programs that have come to similar crisis points. Membership will include alumni, current chapter leaders, current chapter members, and OSU professional staff with deep Greek Life experience and expertise.
By acknowledging the immediacy and importance of making sustainable change in policy, practice and behaviors so that OSU’s Fraternity & Sorority Life program remains a viable and positively contributing campus program, the “Taskforce to Enhance the Health and Sustainability of OSU’s Fraternity & Sorority Life” will:
Identify and describe the desired membership experience that Fraternity & Sorority Life will have in the OSU community.
Identify and describe the representative qualities, values and characteristics of members of the Fraternity/Sorority community.
Identify areas of existing Fraternity & Sorority Life program components that reflect alignment with institutional and program values that can be expanded for improved positive exposure and enhanced community perceptions.
Evaluate existing community programs and chapter practices that are detracting from and/or harming the health of our students, community and vitality of the Fraternity & Sorority Life program (i.e. recruitment practices, social event hosting practices, etc.).
Evaluate multiple data-informed policies, processes and programmatic enhancements that have proved effective in similarly situated institutions and programs.
Propose recommendations and develop an action plan, inclusive of enhancements, policy adoption and/or changes, and program structural modifications that will lead to the short, mid and long term health of the Fraternity & Sorority Life program.
Propose timeline and strategy for implementation.
Provide proposed recommendations, timeline and strategy for implementation to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
January 2017 Charge Taskforce and Taskforce develops work plan
January – April, 2017 Taskforce conducts work plan
Early May, 2017 Taskforce presents findings to Vice Provost for Student Affairs
May, 2017 Implementation, tracking progress and success
JP Peters, Coordinator for Fraternity & Sorority Life (Co-Chair)
Natalie Rooney, Kappa Delta Sorority Chapter Advisor (PHC) & NSPFO START Coordinator (Co-Chair)
Council Executive Representatives:
Ian Snyder, 2017 IFC President & Delta Upsilon Fraternity member
Sara Perry, 2017 Panhellenic President & Chi Omega Sorority member
Marquina Hofschneider, 2016-17 Unified Greek Council Executive Director & Alpha Pi Omega Sorority member
Rachel Grisham, Sigma Delta Omega Sorority President (IND)
McKenna Moore, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority President (PHC)
Dane Piazza, Sigma Pi Fraternity President (IFC)
Eric Webber, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity President (IFC)
Demetrius Watts, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. President (NPHC)
Tiffany Nguyen-Van, Delta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. President (UGC)
Chapter Alumni and Advisors:
Jesus Ramirez, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Chapter Advisor & Residence Hall Director (UGC)
David Leathers, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Chapter Advisor (IFC)
Kirk Maag, Phi Gamma Delta – FIJI Fraternity Chapter Advisor (IFC)
Will Later, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Chapter Advisor (IFC)
Kayla Ramirez, Alpha Chi Omega Chapter Advisor (PHC)
Royce Ann Simmons, Chi Omega Sorority House Corporation Board (PHC)
Terrance Harris, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumnus & LBH Black Cultural Center Director (NPHC)
Undergraduate Greek Members at Large:
Allison Starkenburg, Kappa Delta (PHC)
Thomas Sangillo, Sigma Phi Epsilon (IFC)
Robert Schock, Sigma Nu (IFC)
Ex-Officio Member: Leslie Schacht Drey, Director – CFSL
OSU is committed to the success of our Fraternity & Sorority Life program, and will provide financial, personnel and expertise resources to be utilized by the Taskforce as necessary. The following OSU staff and the Senior Advisory and Steering Committee will be available to provide the Taskforce with subject matter expertise, support, monitoring of progress and assistance. External experts on fraternity and sorority specific subject matter may be sought in consultation as well.
OSU Subject Matter Experts:
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Violence and Hazing Prevention
Equal Opportunities and Access
Institutional Diversity – Bias Response
Fraternity & Sorority Life
Leslie Schacht Drey
Senior Steering Committee:
The following OSU staff and the Senior Advisory and Steering Committee will be available to provide the Taskforce with subject matter expertise, support, monitoring of progress and assistance:
Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Lee Kearney, Acacia Fraternity Alumnus
Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority Alumna
Taskforce Implementation Items
The following recommendations were advanced and accepted by the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Susie Brubaker-Cole, on June 16, 2017. Upon acceptance, they were adopted into implementation.
Recommendation 1: All OSU fraternities and sororities will sign an annual Relationship Statement with Oregon State University.
The relationship statement would provide the necessary guidelines for the basic expectations of fraternities and sororities at OSU. This Relationship Statement between Oregon State University, its Fraternities and Sororities, and their respective inter/national organizations, would formalize the shared values and expectations that are instrumental in ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship between all partners. Among the specific areas addressed in the agreement are:
Leadership Development – chapter presidents attend leadership retreat and complete minimum expectations, members participate in leadership opportunities on campus.
Academics/Scholarship – chapter maintains minimum a 2.5 chapter GPA, recruits only students who are in good academic standing, provides academic success resources to chapter members.
Risk Reduction & Management – chapters will host annual workshops on high-risk alcohol/drug use prevention and sexual assault prevention, implement and adopt FIPG risk management guidelines and provide relevant wellness resources to members.
Diversity & Inclusion – chapters will follow and comply with OSU nondiscrimination policies, host annual workshop on diversity/inclusion, discourage cultural appropriation.
Membership Development – chapters will align recruitment and new member programs with OSU values and policies, prohibit alcohol at recruitment events and any new member programs, prohibit all forms of hazing, new members will attend Fraternity & Sorority Life 101 program.
Campus Engagement & Community Service – chapters will host one service project or philanthropy a year, participate in community-wide events, co-sponsor one educational event with another organization annually.
Advising & Alumni Relations – requires an alumni chapter advisor, on-campus advisor, and live-in House Director.
Community Standards – Chapters and members will promote and adhere to Standards of Conduct as stated in the OSU Code of Student Conduct.
Recommendation 2: All fraternities and sororities will adopt and implement FIPG (Fraternal Information Programming Group) risk management guidelines in social event hosting practices.
FIPG is organized for the purpose of providing information on risk management issues. Its mission is to promote sound risk management policies and practices. FIPG risk management consists of five areas of risk prevention – alcohol and drugs, hazing, sexual abuse and harassment, fire, health and safety, and education. FIPG provides a standardized list of policies focused on social event hosting that will be adopted by all chapters. Chapters that have stricter risk management policies than the guidelines in FIPG can choose to follow their own organization’s risk management guidelines. Following FIPG guidelines accomplishes the following minimal requirements that align with the OSU Code of Student Conduct:
The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, county, and city and policies of the university, and should comply with either the BYOB or Third Party Vendor Guidelines.
No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through or with chapter funds. The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example, kegs or cases, is prohibited.
No members, collectively or individually, may purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor (i.e., those under legal drinking age).
While students are already prohibited from this behavior per the OSU Student Conduct Code, the possession, sale or use of any illegal drugs or controlled substances while on chapter premises or during a fraternity or sorority event, or at any event that an observer would associate with the fraternity or sorority, is prohibited.
All recruitment or rush activities associated with any chapter shall be non-alcoholic.
No chapter, colony, or individual member or pledge, associate/new member or novice shall permit, tolerate, encourage or participate in "drinking games.”
No alcohol shall be present at any pledge/associate member/new member/novice program, activity or ritual of the chapter. This includes but is not limited to activities associated with “bid night,” “big brother – little brother” events or activities, / “big sister - little sister” events or activities, “family” events or activities and initiation.
No chapter, colony, student or alumnus shall conduct, participate in or condone hazing activities. Permission or approval by a person being hazed does not make this behavior permissible.
Recommendation 3: All housed fraternities and sororities will be required to have a live-in House Director.
A live-in house director is an individual selected by the organization who can assist with a variety of tasks dependent upon the individual housed chapter’s needs. The purpose of recommending a house director for every facility is to ensure that a responsible non-undergraduate person of authority is present to assist collegiate chapter members with accountability and the upkeep of the facility.
Recommendation 4: A membership intake procedure for Unified Greek Council (UGC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapters will be outlined and implemented in order to regularly report intake activities to OSU.
Culturally based or multicultural fraternities and sororities conduct a process called membership intake to recruit and bring in new members to their organizations. By reporting membership intake activities regularly to OSU staff, it will assist in relationship building and the ability of OSU to support students who are new members when they are at the highest risk. This expectation will also assist OSU in identifying the challenges that the community faces in to sustaining membership long term.
Recommendation 5: IFC will enforce recruitment policies and best practices, particularly around prohibiting alcohol from being present at any type of recruitment events year-round.
By enforcing and reinforcing their own policies, the Interfraternity Council community (housed fraternities) will have the opportunity to regain credibility and accountability in the community and create a safer and more welcoming environment for incoming students. The IFC has existing policies to manage the recruitment practices of their member chapters that are currently not being enforced. This has been a gap identified by the Taskforce that needed specific attention. This would also improve the public perception of the IFC community as a whole, as the community would be aligned with values-based practices and would assist chapters in recruiting new members who are seeking a values-based experience in fraternity membership.
6.16.2017: Additional University Measure to Support Health & Safety of Students: In addition to the adoption of FIPG risk management guidelines, hard alcohol (defined as alcohol that is greater than or equal to 15 percent alcohol by volume or 30 proof) is prohibited in housed chapter facilities and at fraternity/sorority hosted social events. An exception is made for social events hosted at licensed retail locations (third party venues) where hard alcohol (as defined above) is allowed to be served by a licensed bartender. University Housing & Dining Services has updated their policies for on-campus living to also reflect this prohibition.