Following an extensive review of their Greek life policies and rules, West Virginia University has suspended four fraternities, two of which have been permanently suspended.
According to a press release from the university, Phi Sigma Kappa and Sigma Alpha Mu will be suspended through the Fall 2020 semester, while the Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Gamma Delta (otherwise known as FIJI) fraternities are suspended indefinitely.
Back in February 2018, a committee established by WVU’s Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life reviewed each chapter in the university’s academic, disciplinary, and community engagement and came up with an appropriate “action plan” to “better align each organization with the university’s mission.”
Following the conclusion of their months-long investigation, the committee gave their recommendations to Dean of Students Corey Farris.
The recommendations for each fraternity ranged from losing their official recognition to appointing an academic mentor.
“President Gee challenged us to be bold,” said Matthew Richardson, director of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. “He wants us to be fair and equitable in our approach to fraternity and sorority engagement, and I feel confident that we are set up for success in light of the Reaching the Summit recognition review.”
Richardson added, “Transparency is key, and we intend to publish all relevant information regarding our chapters to our website for students, parents and families to see. This will include academic and judicial histories on our campus.”
While four fraternities have been suspended, all of the West Virginia sororities are reportedly in “good standing” for the upcoming semester.
This is the latest major Greek Life overhaul in the last couple of years, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.
These reports come amidst similar allegations that have been made against fraternities nationwide, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon at East Carolina University, who were shut down for hazing and the Lamda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Arkansas which has been accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of women without their permission.
In response to incidents like these, fraternities such Phi Kappa Psi have made numerous changes to their code of conduct in an effort to address the issues that have arisen. In addition, schools such as Texas State have introduced new Greek Life rules to try and prevent these problems.