Club & Greek

Greek Life Suspended Indefinitely, No Deadline for Proposal

default article imageThe Greek Life Suspension enacted by administrators will continue indefinitely.

This suspension was announced via an email from President Grey Dimenna, Esq. on Sept. 6, following a variety of problems within the Greek community, including low academic performance, hazing allegations, and two fraternities being closed by the University.

President Dimenna and Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Anne Nagy decided to let the Greek community take control of the reigns by submitting a proposal that would offer “sustained and meaningful” reform within the current operations. 

A rough draft was required by Aug. 15 and the final draft was slated for Oct. 15.  However, there was no draft submitted by Aug. 20 which sparked the initial suspension.

There is now no deadline for the Greeks to submit a proposal.

“I have not seen a proposal yet, neither has the President,” said Nagy.  “I think that’s fine; I want them to take a deep serious look at the root causes of these issues.  If it takes a little longer to really make a good report, we’d rather have it right than have it rushed.”

The three student-run leadership councils overseeing the Greek community are the Inter-Fraternity, Panhellenic, and Greek Senate Councils.  They work in conjunction with the University to govern about 750 students currently involved in Greek life.

The heads of the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Greek Senate all declined to comment.  They also declined to comment in the original story published by The Outlook on Sept. 12.

Nagy has helped the community by offering to bring a ‘consultant’ to campus to facilitate discussion about the root issues that need change.  Presidents and Vice Presidents of individual organizations and the leadership councils alike met with David Westol, owner of Limberlost Consulting, Inc. on Sunday Oct. 21.  There, they dissected the current issues with the Monmouth University Greek system.  Westol was paid for by the Office of Student Activities.

“When you go to the doctor, the doctor doesn’t just treat your cough, right?” asked Nagy.  “The doctor tries to understand why you’re coughing.  It’s easier to get to the root of the probelm when somebody comes from the outside, neutral third party is trying to help facilitate thinking differently.”

The spring 2018 semester was a notoriously problematic one for the Greek members.  Tau Kappa Epsilon was shut down following the death of a member.  Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity, was shut down for severe hazing allegations.  Academics fell sharply, with only seven of the University’s sixteen recognized organizations exceeding the University GPA of 3.19.

Monmouth University is not the only college dealing with Greek suspension.  In 2017, six universities across the nation shut down their Greek systems following similar problems of hazing, substance abuse, poor academics, and student deaths.

Nagy has found the Greek community at Monmouth has respected the rules of the implemented suspension.  “I have not had any major breaches of the suspension,” she said.  “We’ve had a couple of questions raised about some organizations potentially doing some ‘recruiting’ that we have addressed.  All of the recognized organizations have to the best of my knowledge followed up and respected the suspension which speaks quite positively.”

There are rumors circulating that a handful of Greek organizations are ‘undergrounding’ new members, or educating them without regulation or permission by the University.  This can lead to the chapter losing their charter and possible expulsion of members.  The Outlook was not able to verify these claims, but is investigating this topic.

The Homecoming game on Oct. 21 saw many Greek organizations tailgating in the parking lot prior to the game with obscene amounts of alcohol.  However, Nagy commented afterwards in an email directed to Greek leaders, “I was very pleased to see how responsible and respectful you all were of the suspension limitations while you still had a good time and stayed safe.”

The suspension rules remain the same; all non-educational, social, and philanthropic activities are prohibited until further notice.  But, an organization can request to host an educational activity or “vital chapter business for their continuance” to the Office of Student Activities.  There, Vice President Nagy will approve on a case-by-case basis.

“I think my conversations with the leadership councils and Greek Senate have been very positive,” concluded Nagy.  “I know they are working to put together something we can review.  We look forward to receiving it but I want to emphasize again, there’s no rush, no deadline.”