University at Buffalo Changes Policy to Govern Greek Life on Campus
The University at Buffalo is implementing a host of policy changes that will govern the Greek life on campus, the school said in a release.
The changes were recommended by a committee that completed its four-month internal review. It called after a violent physical hazing incident involving Sigma Pi fraternity which led to the death of an 18-year-old freshman, Sebastian Serafin-Bazan.
The preliminary toxicology report said that Serafin-Bazan had no drugs or alcohol in his system. Police officers said he was forced to exercise the whole night, causing physical distress which led to cardiac arrest.
As a start, the university has revoked its earlier order of temporarily suspending all Greek organizations on campus by putting them on probation for the fall semester. They can’t recruit new members until the probation is lifted.
However, the Sigma Pi fraternity will remain suspended until the investigation Buffalo Police is completed.
Over the next two years, the university will implement 14 specific recommendations to increase education, oversight, and self-monitoring within the organization.
The university will promote reporting of hazing incidents and re-define hazing to target activities that are that endanger the safety and are physically and psychologically dangerous.
New students will be barred from joining the Greek organizations and afterward, only those students would be able to get membership who’ve earned a minimum of 12 credit hours at UB or another college and who maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. Also, all the fraternities will be required to have a faculty or staff advisor.
“As students, we have an important role to assist in the enforcement of Greek life policies by encouraging our classmates to maintain accountability and follow the school’s student code of conduct,” said committee member Brielle Anderson.
“The committee’s recommendations will prompt students to take a more proactive role in creating a safe, healthy and productive Greek life culture that benefits the university and the surrounding community,” she added.
Last month, Miami University banned Delta Tau Delta fraternity for 15 years for hazing and physically harming a member while pledging on March 16. An internal investigation found that the victim was blindfolded at the fraternity house with liquor poured on this face while fraternity members used a paddle with spikes and grooves to hit him. He was further slapped in the face, forced to smoke a joint and made to do pushups while several men kicked him on his sides.
Other universities are also taking harsh measures on policy violations by various Greek organizations. In May, Swarthmore College passed an order that Greek organizations will no longer exist on its campus, denying them any leased space following a report which found serious violations of rules and school policies.