What is happening to Gustavus Greek Life?
Greek Life has been a part of the Gustavus comminity since 1904. Currently, there are three sororities and four fraternities on campus. The organizations’ purpose are to make a difference on campus through philanthropic endeavors, community service and interpersonal development. Organizations also teach leaderships skills, participate in social events and build lasting relationships.
Gustavus has had a rough past with Greek Life. In April of 1988 all Greek Life was banned on campus; however, by the end of 1994, most organizations had returned to Gustavus. Last year, six chapters were suspended for reportedly voilating the school’s hazing and sexual harassment policies. This year, a new focus on hazing prevention brings light to Gustavus’ attitude toward Greek Life.
Gustavus offers an extensive hazing policy in the Gustie Guide. The college defines its position on hazing by stating: “From a legal perspective, hazing is a crime. From an individual student’s perspective, hazing damages the self-esteem of those being hazed. From an organizational perspective, hazing degrades the values of the organization. From a campus community perspective, hazing creates an environment of disrespect that contradicts the College’s values of excellence, community, justice, service, and faith in our community. For all these reasons, the College takes a strong position against any and all forms of hazing. Gustavus Adolphus College does not tolerate hazing in any form by any individual, group, or organization. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off campus premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, fatigue, humiliation, intimidation, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule or that disrupts community life or academic commitments regardless of the intent or end result. Such actions may be perpetrated by an individual, group, or organization against an individual or individuals.”
Gustavus expects community members to report any practice or action that is believed to be hazing. Reports can be made to the Dean of Students, Campus Safety, or online with Gustavus’ Silent Witness Program.
Despite this negativity that surrounds Greek Life, the remaining organizations still work to uphold the tradition of Greek Life and maintain the relationships among the members of each group.