The Gustavian Weekly

New year brings Greek life changes

By Samantha Walters - Staff Writer | October 6, 2017 | News

Almost a year has gone by since Gustavus suspended six Greek organizations for violating the college’s hazing and sexual harassment policies.

Gustavus suspended the organizations after they investigated hazing allegations last fall and into the spring.

Several reports were turned in to the Dean of Students Office of supposed first-hand accounts of policy violations.

Of the suspended sororities and fraternities, many members say college administrators unjustly investigated their organizations.

“Halfway through the new member period, Admin launched an investigation into my chapter on clearly false accusations by emailing us with a cease and desist order,” an anonymous suspended Greek member said.

“The lawyers they hired terrorized our members, forcing advocates to sit in on interviews to keep them in check. They threatened us with suspension and expulsion if anyone was found participating in any chapter activities and forbid us from talking about the investigation together.”

According to a Mankato Free Press article, another chapter was investigated for “kidnapping” their president for a night out partying.

One member said it was a consensual tradition and they were fined $1,000 for the act.

According to college policy, the singing and kidnapping episodes constituted violations of its hazing policy, which prohibits students to “create or use explicit songs” or engage in activities that happen without direct consent of the “hazed.”

A student who asked to remain anonymous was worried about the possible hardships of recruiting new members: “The recruitment process is stricter and more organized, so it might turn people off. There were not many guys recruited this year,” he said.

The remaining Greek organizations new member periods are under a more watchful eye due to last years investigations.

The college has not made the findings of the investigations public and college administrators didn’t reply when asked to comment.

Because of this, many students know very little about the investigations and have to go off (often false) rumors.

There have been rumors about the organizations that stretch the truth and have caused negative reputations to be linked to both the remaining and suspended chapters.

“We were accused and questioned about everything in a negative and judgmental matter,” another anonymous student said.

“The entire point of this investigation was to ensure a safe community on campus, yet I never felt like my rights were more violated than by the procedure the school followed.”

The chapter members said the interviews left them afraid to contest the recommended three-year suspension, even though they believe it’s excessive.

Many students on campus have refused to talk about the suspensions and investigations.

They’re worried about the stigma attached to their organizations and don’t want to make it worse by bringing attention to themselves.

Others in the Greek community share the same feelings and are afraid of the same fate.

One sorority received a three-year suspension, one fraternity received a five-year suspension, while the other four received one-year suspensions.

All members of the suspended organizations are prohibited from participating in any formal or informal official college activities, including fundraising and recruiting new members.

Six of the twelve sororities and fraternities were removed from the Greek life list on the college’s website, leading many to feel doubt for the security of the remaining six Greek groups.

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