Citing too many alcohol-related incidents at Greek parties this semester, Washington State University’s Greek community has imposed a ban on all social events hosted by fraternities and sororities – regardless of the presence of alcohol – ending at the beginning of spring semester.
In an announcement released Monday, members of the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council at WSU – elected student-run councils that oversee Greek life on WSU’s Pullman campus – pointed to a rising concern over the number of “assaults, rapes, falls and hospitalizations due to the overuse of alcohol and/or drugs by Greek members in the community.”
“When weighing out the options to better prevent these incidents from occurring, it is imperative to place a moratorium banning fraternity and sorority social events for the rest of this semester,” the announcement reads. “By refraining from social events, individual members of each chapter can refocus their priorities on bettering the ideals in which their respective chapters were founded on.”
The moratorium began 5 p.m. Monday and prohibits fraternity and sorority members from attending all social events containing alcohol, including football tailgates, “21 runs” and “date dashes,” in addition to events hosted by unrecognized chapters, the announcement reads.
Members are also required to work with university officials on creating a “comprehensive point-by-point action plan” to foster awareness surrounding sexual assault, abuse of alcohol, abuse of illegal and prescription drugs, falls and mental health.
“The moratorium implemented on all IFC fraternity and Panhellenic sorority chapters at Washington State University is not to be viewed as a punishment, but rather a process to rebrand and collaborate with all chapters on campus for the restoration of the Greek Community,” the announcement reads.
Following the moratorium’s completion next spring, members will be expected to complete a “comprehensive checklist” provided to them at the start of the semester.
This ban follows other actions against WSU’s Greek community after a string of alcohol- and drug-related incidents.
In mid-October, a student was critically injured after falling from a second-floor balcony. Last year, four students injured themselves in falls while drinking.
In mid-September, the national headquarters of Delta Upsilon fraternity suspended its Washington State University chapter amid allegations from an 18-year-old female student who reported she was sexually assaulted at a fraternity-hosted party.
In 2014, then-WSU President Elson Floyd banned alcohol in all Greek houses that housed freshmen, citing an “unprecedented number of Greek chapters that have lost recognition in recent years.”
Responding to backlash from students who believed he was the one who implemented the ban Monday, WSU President Kirk Schulz dispelled the rumor and commended the student-run council, tweeting, “This was decided by the WSU student leaders themselves – let’s give them credit for taking a bold stand for student safety.”