News

Greek Organizations Return to Campus

Greek Organizations Return 1Greek Life at Monmouth University has been officially reinstated by the University administrators for the spring 2019 semester following an indefinite suspension, effective immediately. 

This news came via a campus-wide email from President Grey Dimenna, Esq. on January 14. 

“I am deeply appreciative of the sincere passion and care that has helped us to resolve the important academic, cultural, and safety issues that are so central to many of our students,” he wrote. “And I am confident that our collaborative efforts will enhance the fraternity and sorority experience for our students and ensure a system that is safe, sound, and strong.”

The imposed Greek suspension prohibited non-educational activities on Sept. 6. 

It ceased social, philanthropic, and recruitment events for the 750+ students involved in Greek Life for an indefinite amount of time.

The action was prompted following poor academic performance within Greek Life, hazing allegations, the shutdown of two fraternities, and the death of a student in an alcohol-related accident on Feb. 3, 2018.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, is anticipating the return of Greek Life. 

“The proposal that was made was sufficient enough for the restoration to occur,” she said. “It hit on key areas of concern that we had, first and foremost the academic focus. 

Greek Organiztions Return 2The other was mechanisms to be put in place that require students to be accountable to one another, and to hold each other accountable so that the system can posit operate and reflect posit on this community and externally." The Greek community's return to campus will be monitored by University leadership.

The four student-run organizations that oversee Greek Life (the Inter-Fraternal Council [IFC], the Panhellenic Council, Greek Senate, and the Multi-Cultural Greek Council [MCGC]) were tasked by administrators to create “meaningful and substantial change” and bringing accountability to the University system last semester.  Following the proposal process, many of their proposed changes have been accepted.

Key reforms that have been implemented include an increase in GPA for prospective students and active members from 2.5 to 2.75, a new “report card” that will assess individual chapter growth, and the new member education process will be decreased from six weeks to five. 

The “report card” will track chapter growth for the academic year, and will replace the lengthy Greek Excellence Packet, which covered academics, philanthropy, community service, and many other factors. As for the new member education process, IFC and Panhellenic Council will be reduced to five, while MCGC will remain at six weeks.

Members of the Inter-Fraternity, Panhellenic, and Greek Senate Councils were reached for comment about the return of Greek Life and did not respond after several requests.

In addition, there is now the established Council Standards Board to address “policy infractions including recruitment violations, risk management issues, and increased utilization of the Student Code of Conduct for violations of University policy and the law.” 

Each council will be held responsible to hold judicial hearings to hear all cases of physical assault, sexual misconduct, municipality or University violation, and many other potential risks. Issues regarding organizations’ membership will also be heard. This provision is replacing the Greek Senate standard board with all councils involved in a case.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, was pleased with the Greek council’s reforms. “I have had a number of conversations with student leadership that this is simply the first step,” she said. “There is still a lot of work to be done.”

The first reform event for the Greek community this semester was a guest speaker. The speakers were Jim and Evelyn Piazza, the parents of Timothy Piazza, a young man who died as a result of an alcohol-related hazing incident at Penn State. They spoke to the Greek community and to various club and organization members on Jan. 28.  

“The message I think people will hear is about the impact of what happened when hazing and other risky activities happen but, also the idea that every single one of us has the responsibility to look out for each other,” said Nagy.  “And when you see something that you say something and not be afraid to stand up and do so and I hope that is truly a message that students hear.” There will also be a new Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life appointed by Nagy and other administrators hired. The University has advertised this position, accepted resumes, and will update The Outlook  when he/she is appointed.

According to Nagy, the University plans on having candidates a community presentation on their visions of how fraternities and sororities play a role in the community.

PHOTO TAKEN by Nicole Riddle