Kappa Sig aftermath adds up
GC fraternities and sororities feel repercussions resulting from Kappa Sigma’s previous infractions
As a result of Kappa Sigma’s series of unpunished incidents and new director Tyler Havens, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life revitalized enforcement on a wide-range of policies and began developing a computer system that will track greek member’s interactions with all departments across campus.
The system, developed with Campus Life director Tom Miles, codes greek members into the university’s banner system and helps the greek office reach out to fraternities and sororities if a group of member’s grades significantly drop, are cited on a Public Safety report, visit Health Services for a similar complaint or note other concerns.
“We want to help ensure the safety of our students first and foremost,” Havens said. “A lot of times it does end up being a bug that just goes through a house, but in some instances there may be more to it.”
The systems simplifies calculating Grade Point Averages of greek organizations and shows how they measure up to all-women and all-men averages on-campus, regionally and nationally.
Havens brings the system from his previous position as assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority life at Monmouth University in New Jersey and first-hand knowledge of its usefulness. Responsibility for the system’s development mostly falls on his office.
“It’s nothing that any of the students are really going to see. It’s an internal thing, but it’s huge for our office,” Havens said.
He is pushing to install the system by the end of Fall 2012.
Along with the new system, the greek office began enforcing previously established policies: all fraternity and sorority parties must require wristbands for those over 21, notification of parties must registered seven days in advance instead of three and the pledgeship periods were addressed.
“It’s not so much a change as much as it going with the national flow. We recommend [pledgeship periods] last no more than six weeks, but they cannot last any more than eight weeks,” Havens said.
Pledge activity within fraternities was also limited to 10 hours per week and detailed information is expected as to what they are doing
with pledges, how they are conducting pledge education and when they are having meetings.
The changes, in large part, address Reese Cohn’s concerns, expressed during the years leading to Kappa Sigma’s hearing, of the greek office’s inability to reprimand organizations.
“It was my hope that our office could be granted jurisdiction to deal with both the unique situations that arise on a case by case basis, and that we would be granted enough authority to hand down sanctions when necessary. This is finally the case, and I think it will ultimately strengthen our Fraternity & Sorority community in many ways,” Cohn said.
Charges brought against Kappa Sigma regarding false rosters and initiating non-Georgia College students directly correlate to the new enforcement by the greek office for all fraternities and sororities.
“We’ve asked them to provide us a more accurate roster and update their roster at the beginning and ending of the semester so that we can keep that more accurately,” Havens said. “With that roster we’re also having all of our members sign off individually on obeying and abiding by the student code of conduct and the fraternity and sorority policy manual.”
The greek office also requires lists of officers which addresses Kappa Sigma’s use of a GMC student as a pledge advisor.
“A lot of it has to do with paperwork to be honest. And surprisingly, the students that have come in and I’ve walked through the paperwork that we’re requesting of them have been thankful for it,” Havens said.
While some students we’re thankful for the changes, others feel they are happening too quickly.
“I understand his way of thinking is a little different than how ours is, but at the same time he needs to understand that he’s coming into a different area and learn the way we do things before he changes everything,” said Sarah Stone, a freshman Delta Zeta and public relations major. “That includes asking us and getting our input before he makes the changes because he should know thats not the way we’ve been doing it for how ever many years, it’s not gonna settle well.”
While they may be unpopular, the changes hope to prevent another fraternity or sorority from facing sanctions similar to those given to Kappa Sigma and help members follow university policy.
“We are holding them more accountable to it because we have the staff to do so,” Havens said.