LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The number of fraternities that have disaffiliated from USC has risen to eight, and splinter groups have formed their own organization called the University Park Interfraternity Council.
The fraternities held a recruiting fair Friday near campus in the kind of “peak week” event that USC officials banned freshmen in 2017 due to hazing concerns, the fraternities reported. Los Angeles Times.
The decision to disaffiliate came after strict rules enacted by the school in response to multiple accusations of sexual assault at frat nights last year.
However, UPIFC’s Harrison Murphy told The Times that the decision to disaffiliate was not a reaction to the rules, but to what he said were the university’s unfair policies towards Greek organizations as a whole. .
“I want to say unequivocally no, we are not disaffiliating to dodge these social event policies that have been put in place,” Murphy said.
The eight breakaway fraternities are Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Zeta Beta Tau.
In an Instagram post last weekend, UPIFC said the new council was formed “to address significant shortcomings in the existing system. We emphasize at the outset that we remain deeply committed to our overall responsibilities to the community. USC and to ensure the safety of our members and guests.This new council is designed to provide individual chapters and their members with a much more focused, timely, and consistent process for contribution, discipline, and accountability.
“…Over the past several years, our partnership with USC has deteriorated significantly and become largely unworkable after USC unilaterally suspended, without explanation or reason, all organizational activities for nearly half of the 2021-22 school year,” the post continued. .
Separatist fraternities can no longer use the USC Campus Greek Life name, logo, or resources, and fraternity students are still subject to campus rules and laws against hazing, sexual assault, and other misconduct. .
USC lamented the decision in its own Instagram post last week.
“We are disappointed that some USC fraternities are following an unfortunate national trend of disaffiliating from the university — against our strong recommendations,” the statement read.
“This decision appears to be motivated by a desire to eliminate university oversight of their operations. Members resent procedures and protocols designed to prevent sexual assault and substance abuse and to address underage mental health and alcohol abuse issues.
“They also object to not being able to rush freshmen into the fall — a practice that has repeatedly proven dangerous for incoming students. Plus, they push back the time it takes to investigate serious issues like sexual assault. These investigations and their duration are regulated by the state and federal government,” the statement continued.
“… This decision is damaging and goes against 130 years of tradition. We strongly urge students not to join these unaffiliated organizations or attend their events, and we will continue to uphold our high expectations for behavior in our neighboring communities. »
USC President Carol Folt acknowledged last fall that the university waited too long to inform the campus community of drug allegations and possible sexual assaults at fraternity parties.
The allegations caused the school’s own Interfraternity Council to shut down all social activities at campus fraternities after the Department of Public Safety announced the allegations.
New rules announced in January include sending security guards to stairways or hallways leading to rooms during holidays and mandatory sexual violence prevention training for all fraternity members.
Fall semester classes at USC are scheduled to begin Monday.