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Six Months, Six Charges, Any Changes?
FAU CHARGED A FRATERNITY WITH “BRUTAL” HAZING, BUT THEY’RE NOT SAYING ANYTHING ELSE — AND ONE EXPERT SAYS THAT’S THE PROBLEM.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS VOL.20 | #8 | 4.26.2019
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6 GREEKS IN OFFICE During a Student Government campaign, the lifelong friendships members are promised in fraternities and sororities may come in handy when they need votes. • By Israel Fontoura
SPECIAL ISSUE EDITOR
Cameren Boatner SPECIAL ISSUE DESIGNER
Ivan Benavides EDITOR IN CHIEF
Asuka Takahashi, Kevin Sjogreen
8 TO PARTY, OR NOT TO PARTY? The UP learned about Greek party rules and myths so that you don’t have to. • By Sophie Siegel
10 THE GREEK LIFE HALL OF FAME AND SHAME Here are the smartest, most popular, and bestbehaved Greek communities in Florida — and the least. • By Cameren Boatner
Simone Stewart, Alex Rodriguez, Mohammed Emran
Israel Fontoura SPORTS EDITOR
Neil Santaniello, Ilene Prusher, Michael Koretzky
10 THE GREEK LIFE HALL OF FAME & SHAME
WANT TO JOIN THE UP? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Staff meetings every Friday at 2 p.m. Student Union, Rm 214 WANT TO PLACE AN AD? For national/regional ads contact: Piper Jackson-Sevy flytedesk inc. (970) 541-0894 • email@example.com PUBLISHER FAU Student Government • The opinions expressed by the UP are not necessarily those of the student body, Student Government or FAU. ADDRESS 777 Glades Road Student Union, Room 214 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.297.2960 COVER ILLUSTRATION BY IVAN BENAVIDES
PHOTO BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ
4 GOING GREEK, FOR BETTER OR WORSE We wanted to take a deep dive into what Greek life at FAU is really like. This issue contains everything we found out. • By Cameren Boatner NEWS
5 OWLTHON: $247,000 FOR THE KIDS The philanthropy event at FAU generates thousands of dollars every year, and it’s a staple of the university’s Greek life. • By Sophie Siegel & Cameren Boatner
SIX MONTHS, SIX CHARGES, ANY CHANGES? FAU charged a fraternity with “brutal” hazing, but they’re not saying anything else — and one expert says that’s the problem. • By Cameren Boatner
15 STRICTER FOR SISTERS The laws laid out in sorority and fraternity constitutions vary by organization, but some of those differences are harder on women. • By Hope Dean
18 HOME SWEET UNOFFICIAL HOME FAU’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life says they’re unsure if on-campus housing for Greek life is coming anytime soon, even after discussing it for almost 30 years. • By Kristen Grau
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
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• Drug Offenses
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• Criminal Mischief
• Reckless Driving
• Disorderly Intox.
• Violation of Probation
Going Greek For Better or Worse WE WANTED TO TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO WHAT GREEK LIFE AT FAU IS REALLY LIKE. THIS ISSUE CONTAINS EVERYTHING WE FOUND OUT. BY CAMEREN BOATNER • Photo by Alex Liscio
Here are all the terms to know, from Greek to English. HAZING “Any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate,” according to HazingPrevention.org. IFC Interfraternity Council, or a national group of fraternities. CPA College Panhellenic Association, or a national group of sororities. PLEDGE A person who has accepted a bid, but is not yet initiated into the organization. RUSH When a student attends recruitment ahead of joining a fraternity or sorority.
GREEK LIFE, which makes up under 6 percent of the student body, is one of the most influential groups on campus. You should know what is going on with them. From a lack of housing to fraternity hazing, the University Press looked into every aspect of Greek life at FAU for this special issue. In this issue, you’ll learn about hazing violations, strict rules, the Greek majority in Student Government, and the charitable donations that Greek organizations are centered on. Brothers and sisters seem to protect their own, even when they leave the organization or graduate, as the UP found while putting this issue together. We reached out to countless Greek students and only heard back from a handful — especially when the topics were more controversial. And when we did get a hold of them, most avoided tougher questions on topics like alcohol and drugs at parties and strict dress codes for sorority women. It took some digging — through record requests, chapter rules, social media, and archives — to find the information we thought the student body should know. More and more students are beginning to join Greek life, so here’s everything you need to know if you decide to become a brother or sister in the future.
GREEK LIFE LINGO
INITIATION When a person gets inducted into the fraternity or sorority officially. CHARTER The document allowing fraternities and sororities to be registered on a university campus. GDIs “Goddamn Independents,” or everyone who is not in Greek life. RECRUITING When fraternities and sororities host events intended to attract new members. VIOLATIONS Any violation of the student code of conduct. These can include hazing, sexual misconduct, alcohol violations, and other prohibited activities. PHILANTHROPY The community service projects completed by different fraternities and sororities intended to raise money or donations for charity. BID An invitation to become a sorority or fraternity member.
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
OwlThon $247,000 For the Kids
OWLTHON PARTICIPANTS DANCE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR UF HEALTH SHANDS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. PHOTO COURTESY OF OWLTHON
THE PHILANTHROPY EVENT AT FAU GENERATES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR, AND IT’S A STAPLE OF THE UNIVERSITY’S GREEK LIFE. BY SOPHIE SIEGEL & CAMEREN BOATNER
A ROOM full of Greek life members danced in the campus gym for 13 consecutive hours last month, but it wasn’t just the longest formal you’ve ever heard of. They were raising money to support children with chronic illnesses ranging from asthma to heart defects. This philanthropy event, called OwlThon, raises thousands of dollars each year “For The Kids.” The slogan was even displayed on fraternity and sorority members’ headbands. The March 23 event raised over $247,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, according to FAU OwlThon’s website, and the donations go toward treatments for children at the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. OwlThon Executive Director Daniella Lanes says the event gives Greek members the chance to come together for a good cause. “We are making a real difference in so many lives. As an elementary education major, I love being around kids and believe that no one should have to spend their entire childhood within the four walls of the hospital,” she said via email. “OwlThon gives me and so many others the chance to do everything in my power to help those kids
who can’t help the situations that they are in and to make a difference.” According to their website, OwlThon “aspires to be the premiere student-run philanthropic movement, bringing together a diverse community focused on educating, inspiring, and uniting our campus and community to provide ongoing support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.” Some of the biggest sponsors include: • Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores • University Park, an off-campus apartment complex • Wyndham Boca Raton, a hotel near campus • It’s Owl Time, an off-campus FAU apparel store Over the six years FAU has been doing OwlThon, they’ve raised over $995,000, according to Lanes. Friends and family of Greek members can donate to OwlThon participants to help them reach fundraising goals, which are all displayed on OwlThon’s event website. Alexa Vento, a Phi Mu alumni, raised $2,746.13 — enough to make her the sorority’s top fundraiser.
She wrote on Facebook about how her team won the fundraising competition, and what OwlThon means to her. “OwlThon is so much more than just fundraising all year, it’s a celebration for our hard work, for these kids, for more laughs,” she said. The top Greek fundraisers during this year’s OwlThon were: • Phi Mu: $19,535 • Alpha Delta Pi: $14,161 • Sigma Kappa: $13,174 • Sigma Phi Epsilon: $12,559 • Alpha Epsilon Pi: $7,725 • Delta Phi Epsilon: $7,349 • Theta Phi Alpha: $6,506 “We stand for the kids who can’t,” Peyton Henry, a junior psychology major and sister of Theta Phi Alpha who participated in OwlThon, said. “Being in a room full of passionate, hard-working people is honestly the best feeling in the world. It provides hope to the children and their families.”
GREEKS IN OFFICE DURING A STUDENT GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN, THE LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS MEMBERS ARE PROMISED IN FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES MAY COME IN HANDY WHEN THEY NEED VOTES. BY ISRAEL FONTOURA
ALL STUDENTS have the opportunity to be elected and to serve in Student Government positions, but some may get a little help from their Greek brothers and sisters. There’s no way to know which students voted for who, but in the past decade, nine of the past eleven FAU student body presidents have been involved in Greek life. SG’s current top leaders, who the student body votes into power, are also Greeks — and this may not be a coincidence. “I can [understand] where you can see the correlation of being Greek and having access to a system of people that know you, that will listen to you. It might assist you with that,” Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life Rafael Zapata said in reference to campaigns.
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
In SG’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches, only 14 out of the 82 members are Greek, according to House Speaker Noah Goldberg. There may be more than that, but Owl Central doesn’t have an up-to-date roster of Greek life members, and Zapata couldn’t provide such a record. But unlike the presidency, many of those 82 positions aren’t voted on by the students, while the positions that are voted on are filled with Greek members. For the Senate, only three seats are on the ballot — and all of the people currently filling them are Greek. In the President’s Cabinet, three out of six members are Greek, and all are appointed by the president. But in the Boca House, candidates don’t need student votes to be a part of Student Government. Candidates are either elected during Fall or determined by inHouse elections, where only representatives can vote. In elections, some non-Greeks attribute their defeat to not having as large a network of influence as members of fraternities and sororities do. Former presidential candidate Neasha Prince believes students in Greek life have an advantage in being elected to Student Government positions — and that it looks great for both their chapter and themselves. “Once an individual is affiliated and a prominent member within a Greek organization, they are supported indefinitely by their sisters or brothers,” she said via email. Many Greek organizations and national councils require their members to be affiliated with organizations outside of Greek life, so some students turn to Student Government for the highest leadership roles, according to Vice President-elect Celine Persaud. And the trend is continuing into the future with Kevin Buchanan elected as the ninth consecutive president involved in Greek life. Last election, Buchanan from Pi Kappa Alpha and Persaud from Alpha Delta Pi were elected as student body president and vice president, respectively. Alex Zand from Alpha Epsilon Pi was elected as the Boca campus governor. Although running for different platforms, the candidates all shared one thing in common: Greek life affiliation.
PLEDGING TO SG For the student body president and vice presidentelect, the Greek presence in executive positions should not be discouraging to non-Greek students who want to get involved. But others argue that it’s discouraging anyways. Prince believes that in order for a campaign to be successful without the Greek vote, it requires a candidate to network for months before the campaign starts, whereas Greeks have the upper hand. “It’s important to make yourself known and human to the community at FAU that feels neglected and overlooked by the university,” she said. And last year’s gubernatorial candidate, Chase
Fitzgerald, said that most students perceive membership in Greek life as a prerequisite for involvement in Student Government. “It’s kind of become a problem where people in high leadership positions are affiliated with Greek life when over 90 percent of the student population is not Greek life and every other candidate is affiliated with a Greek life organization,” he said. This may happen because involvement in Student Government tends to be encouraged in fraternities and sororities, according to some members. For Buchanan, it was former student body President Michael Cairo (2016–2017) who persuaded him to join both Student Government and Cairo’s fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. Buchanan believes that joining Student Government is about an individual’s desire to make a change within their communities, rather than being about personal affiliations within an organization. “Involvement in any type of organization is always an opportunity to showcase your leadership and commitment, which are two skill sets that anyone would look for when hiring,” Buchanan said. Celine Persaud belongs to Alpha Delta Pi, sharing a line of sisterhood with former presidents Kathryn Edmunds (2015-2016) and Emily Lawless (2017-2018), and former vice presidents Juliana Walters (2016-2017) and April Turner (2012-2013). For Persaud, it was these members who motivated her to apply for leadership positions. “I believe that Greek life does a great job of encouraging their members to be involved in other aspects of the campus, mainly to improve their overall leadership skills, and be well-rounded students,” she said. And even if their term is complete, former Student Government leaders still endorse candidates at FAU. Last year, presidential candidates Jacqueline LaBayne and Kyle MacDonald posted an endorsement from their fellow Greeks, Cairo and Walters, through social media. The post read, “Former Student Body President and Vice President Michael Cairo and Juliana Walters are #TeamLaBayneMacDonald, are you?” MacDonald is from Sigma Phi Epsilon and LaBayne is from Alpha Kappa Alpha. In 2016, former Student Body President Patrick Callahan (2014) endorsed his Pi Kappa Alpha brother, Michael Cairo, for president. He changed his profile picture to a photo of Cairo and Walters with the caption, “You have my vote.”
“The elephant in the room is that Greeks are overwhelmingly more involved on campus, and thus may have a larger incentive to vote,” student body presidentelect at the University of North Florida John Aloszka said. He isn’t involved in Greek life. At UNF, approximately 11 percent of the student body voted in the most recent election — about the same amount as the Greek population. The University of Florida shares similar statistics. Approximately 19 percent of the student body voted in the most recent election, while their Greek population is just a little bit higher. Former UF candidate for student body president, Zachariah Chou, who ran in their last election, lost to his Greek opponent, Michael Murphy. Murphy is a member of Alpha Tau Omega, UF’s oldest and most prestigious fraternity. Chou said he believes that appointed positions are rarely based on merit, but on Greek affiliations instead. “Unfortunately, this often leads to us having very
“It’s kind of become a problem where people in high leadership positions are affiliated with Greek life when over 90 percent of the student population is not Greek life...”
THE BIGGER PICTURE Greek life and Student Government may intertwined in other Florida universities, too.
• CHASE FITZGERALD incompetent student ‘leaders,’” Chou said. “Being affiliated with a Greek organization doesn’t just at times improve their chances of getting the job — it gets them the job.” Greek life connections and leadership are also associated with each other beyond college. According to a study by the University of Iowa, fraternity and sorority members head 43 of 50 of the largest corporations in the nation. They also made up 85 percent of Fortune 500 Executives. And according to The Atlantic, 76 percent of Senators and 85 percent of Supreme Court justices were in Greek organizations, as well as 19 presidents since the first fraternity was founded in 1825. Student Government is just the beginning for some of these future executives and politicians. And Greek life may offer an opportunity that can either be a blessing or a curse, depending on who you ask: a ready-made package of supporters for your campaign. “Greek organizations produce leaders, infiltrate change, and do whatever they can to improve their community. It’s no surprise to me our Greek members on campus are mirroring the same behavior,” Prince said.
TO PARTY, OR NOT TO PARTY? THE UP LEARNED ABOUT GREEK PARTY RULES AND MYTHS SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO. BY SOPHIE SIEGEL Photos by Alex Liscio
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
Editor’s note: The name of a former fraternity member has been changed to protect his identity.
WHEN YOU think of Greek culture, you may think of wild house parties — usually with lots of alcohol and few rules. However, FAU’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the North-American Interfraternity Council, and the National Panhellenic Conference have set strict guidelines for parties that you may not know about. Some are as minimal as when the party can be held, and others outline which booze you can drink. A former member of Greek life said that party culture was filled with hard drugs and alcohol, while other frat party frequenters deny this.
THE FACTS ABOUT GREEK PARTIES The rules for sorority get-togethers are far different than the rules for fraternity gatherings. “While it’s not illegal for sororities to [throw parties], frats are the ones who hold [them]. However, the National Panhellenic Conference, which governs the country’s 26 major sororities, maintains that sisters can’t swig booze in sorority houses — even as the fraternity down the street throws a keg party,” the Washington Post reported. And according to Rafael Zapata, the director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, fraternities are usually the ones who do the heavy lifting by throwing the parties. He said he’s never seen a sorority request to have a party, which is important because all parties must be registered on Owl Central. “Any events hosted by a registered student organization is to be submitted in Owl Central, whether it is on campus or not. Not just outside parties, but also oncampus parties, such as formals,” Zapata said. Contrary to popular college myths, kegs are not allowed. And following the North-American Interfraternity Conference’s August 2018 vote, hard alcohol like vodka, whiskey, and bourbon will also be banned starting September 2019. Greek life parties are also required to have a sober monitor, which is a person who makes sure everyone is safe while drinking alcohol. All members are required to undergo this training.
WHAT DO FORMER MEMBERS AND STUDENTS THINK OF PARTIES? Chad, a former member of Greek life who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said parties may not always adhere to guidelines. While Chad was in a fraternity at FAU, he was often the sober monitor at parties. He said the main drink at every party was “jungle juice,” which is a mix of hard alcohol and sugary drinks, and that people used kegs despite the guidelines. “I didn’t even know [kegs] weren’t allowed, it was so common,” Chad said.
Hard drugs were also common at parties, according to Chad — especially cocaine. Greek life formals were just a “getaway to do as much cocaine as possible,” he said, to the point where he was surprised that no one overdosed. They never had to call an ambulance on anyone for taking too many drugs or drinking too much alcohol. But what stood out to him the most was the treatment of men who weren’t in other fraternities. Chad said the brothers disliked non-fraternity men, often referring to them as “Goddamn Independents,” or “GDIs.” The goal of the party was to get “as many females as possible in the house with as little males [as possible]. They wanted the biggest female to male ratio,” he said. “I think their mentality was if there’s more girls and less guys, then you have a better chance at getting laid.” But sophomore multimedia major Kayla Ortiz frequents Greek parties, and she said she hasn’t seen what Chad describes. Ortiz recently attended a Greek life formal, where she said no drug use occurred — she only saw alcohol. “At the formal, most people just drank. But as far as I know there wasn’t any hard drugs involved,” she added. Ortiz said alcohol came from cans instead of kegs, and that alcohol use was controlled by sober monitors. She’s never seen any issues with parties, either. “I think [parties] are fine, like if they’re going on it’s fun, but I wouldn’t say they’re important to everyone,” she said.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CHAPTER VIOLATES THE RULES? Greek life can have their events disapproved. “Some reasons would be: not adhering to 10day reservation room policy, not providing the documentation needed, not meeting with our office to review risk management plan on a timely basis, [or] not being on good standing with office of FSL/FAU,” Zapata said. According to Zapata, the punishments can vary from probation, which can allow for someone to stay in a Greek organization with some restrictions, to loss of room reservations. The University Press reached out to members of Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Delta Pi for comment on the rules at frat parties, but did not hear back in time for publication. Jon Carter, a former member of Pi Kappa Alpha, declined to comment, and a current member of Alpha Epsilon Pi also said his fraternity declined to comment. DESPITE FAU GUIDELINES AGAINST KEGS, HARD LIQUOR, AND DRUGS, A FORMER GREEK LIFE MEMBER SAYS THEY STILL HAVE ALL OF THEM AT FRAT PARTIES.
WHAT DO CURRENT MEMBERS THINK ABOUT PARTIES? Kevin Buchanan, former president of Pi Kappa Alpha and Student Government president-elect, said parties are important to the social experience of college. Buchanan refrained from commenting on whether sober monitors actually do their jobs, and if fraternity parties he attended had vodka or kegs. However, he said that while partying is an important part of “Greek culture,” it’s more than that as well. “The Greek culture emphasizes leadership and building community. The Greek office every year works to better the safety standards set and creates initiatives that make socializing fun and safe,” he said.
The Greek Life HALL OF FAME & SHAME HERE ARE THE SMARTEST, MOST POPULAR, AND BEST-BEHAVED GREEK COMMUNITIES IN FLORIDA — AND THE LEAST. BY CAMEREN BOATNER Photo by Alex Rodriguez COMPARED to other Florida public universities, FAU Greek life is down the middle of the road in almost all aspects — except one. FAU has the lowest percentage of students in fraternities or sororities compared to the rest of the student population. This statistic excludes the New College of Florida, which does not have a Greek life system. In every other category such as philanthropy, conduct (see Editor’s Letter on pg. 4 for definitions), and GPA, FAU is generally your run-of-the-mill Greek system. Here’s how other Florida campuses match up: All statistics provided by the individual universities. Some numbers may vary, as multiple universities did not get back to the UP.
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
GPA: 3.42 THE LOWEST GPA
FGCU GPA: 2.79 THE MOST POPULAR
# OF MEMBERS:
6,428 OR 19 PERCENT OF THE STUDENT BODY THE LEAST POPULAR
# OF MEMBERS:
1,357 OR 5.8 PERCENT OF THE STUDENT BODY
MOST DONATIONS TO CHARITY
DONATIONS TO CHARITY:
LEAST DONATIONS TO CHARITY
DONATIONS TO CHARITY:
THE GOOD GUYS
CONDUCT VIOLATIONS IN THE PAST THREE YEARS: 1 THE BAD GUYS
CONDUCT VIOLATIONS IN THE PAST THREE YEARS: 72 HAZING FACT:
IN ABOUT A MONTH FROM NOW, ANDREW COFFEY, A PI KAPPA PHI FRATERNITY BROTHER, WOULD HAVE BEEN GRADUATING FROM FSU. BUT WHEN HE AND OTHER PLEDGES WERE ENCOURAGED TO DRINK AND WERE NOT MONITORED, COFFEY DRANK A DEADLY AMOUNT AND PASSED AWAY IN 2017. 11
Six Months, Six Charges, Any Changes?
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FAU charged a fraternity with “brutal” hazing, but they’re not saying anything else — and one expert says that’s the problem. BY CAMEREN BOATNER • Illustration by Ivan Benavides 12
GREEK ISSUE • UNIVERSITY PRESS • 4.26.2019
DID MEMBERS of Delta Tau Delta brand other members in Fall 2015? Did they whip them? Did they make them drink too much booze? Only a handful of FAU officials in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of Student Affairs know for sure. But those are all definitions of “Hazing: Brutality,” which FAU charged Delta Tau Delta, or DTD, with, according to FAU documents counting these violations obtained by the University Press. They could’ve committed one of those things, or a number of others, but FAU isn’t providing the details. After multiple requests, FAU administrators and both current and former members of DTD have either not responded or did not comment as of publication time. John Hechinger, a senior editor at Bloomberg and author of “True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities,” said not having a dialogue about hazing is part of the reason why it keeps happening. Hechinger investigated multiple fraternity hazing incidents across the country, and said that if these incidents are publicized, less fraternities will want to haze their members. He suggests that FAU not only fully disclose exactly what happened in these incidents, but also publicize it to current Greek life members and potential future members. “Public pressure has made a huge difference elsewhere, so you would think it may have made a difference there. It would be huge for every time they were punished to have a narrative explaining what happened,” Hechinger said. Initially, DTD was suspended for almost two years from December 2015 to August 2017, but a month later, their suspension was decreased to just six months, a quarter of their original punishment — but FAU hasn’t said why. Hechinger believes making the details of hazing incidents known would scrutinize hazing to the point where it happens less. “Fraternities put forward this notion, this lie, that hazing doesn’t happen. So even if the university can’t stamp it out, they can expose it and show that it isn’t accepted. I think this argues that the university needs to fully disclose what happened in case students want to be safe in these fraternities and sororities. It also helps for fraternities to know the rules,” he said. However, the consequences for breaking the rules aren’t always cut and dried. Rafael Zapata, director of FAU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life office, couldn’t confirm exactly what happened with Delta Tau Delta, or why their suspension was reduced, as it was before his tenure at FAU. However, he said the Dean of Students office is responsible for deciding what happens to fraternities who haze. The UP reached out to Dean of Students Larry Faerman and FAU Media Relations
for further explanation on what happened at DTD a week and a half before publication time, but they did not provide answers. We also reached out to Vice President for Student Affairs Corey King for comment two weeks before publication time, and he has not responded. The University Press contacted the national DTD chapter in Fishers, Indiana. Jean Lloyd, director of communications for Delta Tau Delta, said that while hazing is not tolerated by the fraternity, it is up to the individual universities to decide what to do when this does happen. “When hazing is found within local programs the Fraternity acts swiftly to provide additional education, resources and training to the local leadership,” Lloyd said via email. “Each situation is different and the Fraternity works collaboratively with the local undergraduate leadership and volunteer advisors to address and change behavior.” But Hechinger argues they should do more. “A lot of schools advocate their Greek life as if they’re real leadership opportunities,” Hechinger said. “If they’re going to do that then they have the responsibility to show what really happens there. I think it’s imperative that the schools provide this information so that they can tell students the truth.”
Zeca de Pinho, a senior mechanical engineering major and former Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brother, said the fraternity was suspended because one of the pledges drank too much alcohol during a ritual, and ATO was caught. He also said the pledges had to smoke cigars after drinking, and if they threw up, they weren’t allowed in the fraternity. These weren’t the only hazing methods that ATO had in place. de Pinho also said there were more rituals he would’ve had to do if the fraternity wasn’t suspended first, including push-ups. But before he could even become a brother, the national organization removed their charter, and ATO never came back to campus.
IGNORING THE RULES
Not every fraternity gets to come back to campus after they have hazed members. Alpha Tau Omega, or ATO, was suspended from campus for hazing its members in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the UP’s investigation findings. After further violations, the chapter was banished from FAU. FAU’s records don’t say exactly what happened — just that ATO was suspended from Jan. 11, 2016 through Aug. 1, 2017. Only the Fraternity and Sorority Life Community Reports say why: They were suspended for hazing in that period. (These are semesterly forms from FAU staff at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life counting the GPAs, violations, and fundraising of fraternities and sororities.) In both cases of DTD and ATO, public records and community reports said they allegedly got caught hazing, but they don’t say exactly what happened. However, a former fraternity brother said this is what happened.
Any violence or threat of violence that could endanger a university member or guest. This could include assault, domestic violence, or dating violence.
“It’s always going to happen. Period. If you’re joining a fraternity, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into... You’re going to drink, you’re going to be hazed.” • ZECA DE PINHO
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WHAT WAS DTD CHARGED WITH? Here’s all six violations FAU said the fraternity was guilty of, according to records obtained by the University Press, but they’re saying nothing more.
2. ACTS OF VERBAL, WRITTEN, OR PHYSICAL ABUSE Intimidation, threats, coercion, harassment or other conduct that could threaten someone’s safety. 3. HAZING: ENDANGERING HEALTH AND SAFETY Recklessly or intentionally endangering the mental or physical health of a student to initiate or admit them into an organization. 4. HAZING: BRUTALITY Brutality such as whipping, beating, branding, forced exercise, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or any other forced activity that could harm the mental or physical state of the individual. 5. HAZING: MENTAL STRESS Any activity which could subject someone to mental stress like sleep deprivation, isolation from social contact, or any other forced contact that could result in embarrassment. But it could also be anything that adversely affects someone’s mental health or dignity. 6. VIOLATION OF STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES Any act that violates and local, Florida, or federal laws. The UP requested a record of the specific laws DTD violated, but FAU public records has not fulfilled this request.
Now, ATO isn’t recognized by the university, according to FAU’s fraternity website. de Pinho said that while his fraternity had to go through anti-hazing trainings when they got caught hazing, it did nothing to address the violation. “It’s literally just an obligation. It’s mostly a formality, and they know it, but we’re not going to change our initiations and rituals every other brother had to do before us. Maybe they’ll keep it more under wraps, but it won’t change anything,” de Pinho said. The University Press reached out to multiple former members and leaders of ATO and DTD for comment, but no one responded over the course of a month. The Alpha Tau Omega national chapter also declined to comment on the specifics of the case. Their charter was removed from FAU in 2016 because ATO’s members didn’t adhere to conduct probation rules, according to the community reports. They couldn’t have parties, drink alcohol, or participate in fraternity or sorority events, but de Pinho says they didn’t listen. “We were only supposed to be suspended for [five] semesters but because the older members were graduating, they didn’t care about it. We were supposed to lay low and not go to parties or tailgates, but they did anyways. They didn’t want to stick to what the school’s guidelines were in the suspension. They wanted to be a frat: rage, drink, party. But in reality, it fucked us over,” de Pinho said.
‘HAZING IS ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN’ But de Pinho claims that even if you don’t witness hazing first hand, it’s always going to happen — you just have to be prepared for it going in. “It’s always going to happen. Period. If you’re joining a fraternity, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows.
WHAT WERE DTD’S PUNISHMENTS?
Here’s everything Delta Tau Delta had to do after they were charged with hazing. Initially, DTD was to be suspended for six semesters, but after appealing to the Dean of Students, they were sentenced to six months of suspension instead. The UP requested the appeal letter, but FAU public records has not fulfilled this request.
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The appeal also allowed the brothers to forgo a year of monthly meetings with their advisor about the chapter’s progress after the hazing violations, and two semesters of new member education courses on the rules.
You’re going to drink, you’re going to be hazed, but in the end you have a group of people you’re going to know for the rest of your life,” de Pinho said. de Pinho says that hazing is not something to take lightly. Practices like this are meant to bring brothers together, and carry on the tradition. “Fraternities have deep histories,” de Pinho said, “and being able to be a part of history like that is something special, and it gives you pride.”
1. SUSPENSION (Nov. 6, 2015 to May 31, 2016) Lost university recognition prohibits participation in Fraternity and Sorority Councils, university activities, and the use of FAU facilities. They could not recruit, offer membership, or conduct any other chapter affiliated activities. 2. CONDUCT PROBATION (May 31, 2016 to May 31, 2017) They returned to Greek life at FAU, but if they were caught violating any other rules, they would have gotten suspended again. 3. NATIONAL FRATERNITY SANCTIONS This requirement means they have to follow the national chapter’s rule.
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THE LAWS LAID OUT IN SORORITY AND FRATERNITY CONSTITUTIONS VARY BY ORGANIZATION, BUT SOME OF THOSE DIFFERENCES ARE HARDER ON WOMEN. BY HOPE DEAN
Stricter for Sisters IF YOU’RE in a sorority at FAU, you aren’t always allowed to wear pants to events. And if you’re in a fraternity at FAU, your social media posts won’t be monitored as much as someone in a sorority. Each fraternity and sorority has their own constitution, which lays out the rules they go by and the fees members must pay. These rules have to line up with the North-American Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), which manage fraternities and sororities in the United States, respectively. But a closer look at the chapters’ rules reveals several differences between what it’s like being a man versus a woman in Greek life — especially when it comes to dress codes and social media policies. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Editor’s note: This piece does not include co-ed fraternities because they are not a part of the NorthAmerican Interfraternity Council or the National Panhellenic Conference.
PHOTO BY MOHAMMED EMRAN
A GREEK STUDENT FROM ALPHA XI DELTA. PHOTO BY ALEXANDER RODRIGUEZ
DRESS CODES There are 14 fraternities at FAU, and four of their constitutions mention a dress code during meetings or events. That’s about 29 percent. Sigma Chi’s dress code is representative of the other three: their members must wear “business casual” clothing at chapter meetings, which the constitution defines as a collared shirt, khakis or slacks, a belt, and closed toe dress shoes with no hat. You’ll be marked with an unexcused absence if you don’t follow the dress code. Out of the 12 sororities’ constitutions at FAU, seven mention a dress code during meetings or events. That’s about 58 percent. Some are simple — Theta Phi Alpha, for example, just calls for women to be “dressed appropriately.” But
others, like Sigma Kappa, detail everything from the right type of necklace to whether you can wear pants or not. Sigma Kappa’s dress code is the longest of the bunch, and specifies what can and can’t be worn during formal meetings, informal meetings, or “ritual events,” such as pledge or initiation meetings. Formal meetings call for dresses, skirts, and dress pants, but you can’t wear mini-skirts or khakis. The dress code for ritual events is pre-determined: members must wear a white dress and white shoes. Pants are not allowed. Even the specific kind of white that members have to wear is set in stone — “winter white” or “off-white” are not acceptable, according to the constitution. And you can only wear the sorority badge, “tasteful” pearls, and an engagement ring for jewelry. Watches aren’t allowed.
Delta Phi Epsilon has a similar kind of dress code. Ritual attire is all black, and members can’t wear pants or “excessive” jewelry. Your shoulders must be covered, so spaghetti straps aren’t allowed. Neither are backless dresses, or dresses that are low-cut in the front or back. Members risk getting kicked out of an event if they don’t fulfill these codes. These kinds of rules are remnants of a strong patriarchy, according to Dr. Jane Caputi, a professor for FAU’s women, gender, and sexuality studies department. When women were considered property of men, their dress was meant to indicate class status and adherence to traditional feminine values like chastity and agreeability, she said. Sigma Kappa’s constitution states that “dress for formal meetings should be appropriate as to show respect for the ideals upon which Sigma Kappa was
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founded.” The sorority was established in 1874. “This whole kind of greater emphasis on women having to adhere to a stricter code is [similar] to adhering to proper gender, which in the view of feminism, does not serve women well,” she said. However, others argue that dress codes reflect tradition and nothing more. Sophomore Annie McGrath, a Sigma Kappa member and education major, said the dress code “doesn’t feel restrictive or anything. It’s just that we’ve had the same traditions since 1874 … We all want to look uniform.” And freshman Holly Browder, a communications major and member of Alpha Xi Delta, said that sororities take their history seriously. “We have a ritual book, and it’s a book that was created a long time ago, and we’re just continuing the tradition,” she said. “It’s like a bond that we have that only Alpha Xi Delta has.” But Student Government’s Boca campus Gov. Luke Turner, who is a member of Pi Kappa Phi, said that tradition doesn’t have the same pull in fraternities as it does in sororities. Philanthropic and ritual events take up the traditional space, while clothing and other factors do not. The UP reached out to Sigma Kappa President Sarah Coleman and multiple fraternity members for comment, but they did not respond as of publication time.
SOCIAL MEDIA Clothing isn’t the only thing that sororities keep tabs on more than fraternities. Social media is another focal point. While two of the 14 FAU fraternities (about 14 percent) have social media policies, four of the 12 FAU sororities (about 33 percent) have policies as well. And just like with dress codes, the sorority rules tend to be stricter. Phi Delta Theta has the longest of the fraternity social media codes: You can’t post anything about underage drinking, drug use, nudity, inappropriate gestures, or “slander” of fraternity brothers. Pi Kappa Alpha’s code only says to not post about drugs or underage drinking. However, it’s different in the sorority Sigma Kappa. Members have to friend three people on all social media sites: the president, the executive vice president, and “Ida.” Ida is an anonymous member of the sorority, and her job is to “guide sisters through proper representation of Sigma Kappa,” the constitution says. She also turns in weekly reports to the executive vice president. Members can’t post profanity, “disrespectful” comments, or pictures with “clothing that is unsuitable or distasteful.” Underage drinking is prohibited, but other photos with alcohol logos may also be deemed inappropriate.
There’s also a system for temporary, 24-hour content like Snapchat and Instagram stories. If any sorority member sends a dove emoji to another member, the member who received it is at fault and needs to delete the offending content from her social media within 12 hours. Screenshots of the content and the dove message are required, and timestamps must be provided as well. And although the laws shift from sorority to sorority, the idea of supervision stays the same. In Alpha Delta Pi, members need to give the director of standards and ethics viewing access to all of their social media accounts. In Alpha Xi Delta’s constitution, it states that members are required to sign a social media contract saying they won’t post inappropriate photos or comments, understanding that the consequences of breaking the rules are probation or suspension — although Browder said she never had to sign a contract. But no fraternity constitutions mention members having to follow organization leaders on any social media platforms. Turner was surprised that this can be the case in sororities. “This is America,” he said. “Normally you’re not friends with these people, [so] why are you following them?” Browder said the expectations can help members “stay on track” and not post anything that may look bad to a future employer. McGrath agreed, saying that the social media regulations make sure members put a “clean” image out to the community and job market. However, Caputi worries that these social media policies may have a subconscious effect on sorority members, even though sorority involvement is voluntary. “By subjecting women to this kind of scrutiny, is it encouraging the kind of behavior where women are going to be asking themselves, ‘Am I perfect enough?’ … They may want to re-think that, and encourage a little autonomy, confidence, and more tolerance for a greater range of individual expression,” she said.
ONE-HIT WONDERS Some odd sorority or fraternity rules can stand all on their own. ALCOHOL Both fraternities and sororities are allowed to throw parties under IFC and NPC rules. But there’s one difference — national NPC rules don’t allow alcohol in sorority houses. However, sororities can have alcohol at other locations. Wine or beer can be seen at many sorority events, such as formals or “grab-a-date” parties where everyone brings a partner, according to Kristine Coleman, president of FAU’s College Panhellenic Association Council. FAU doesn’t have Greek housing yet, so the alcohol rule hasn’t been an issue. But FAU has considered building on-campus Greek houses for years, so it may be a problem in the future. RECRUITMENT The IFC states that women aren’t allowed to attend fraternity recruitment events, and men can’t attend the sororities’ Bid Day, which is when sororities invite new members. If sororities want a man to take photos or DJ for them, they have to tell their Panhellenic Advisor, who will issue a pass for that man. Coleman said via email that this rule is in place because “we do not want new members or active members to become socially distracted during a time when they should be focused on their decision to join a new organization (or on welcoming new members into the organization).” The UP reached out to FAU’s 2018 Interfraternity Council President Camilo Restrepo for comment, but he did not respond as of publication time. CHARITY WORK
“This whole kind of greater emphasis on women having to adhere to a stricter code is [similar] to adhering to proper gender, which in the view of feminism, does not serve women well.” • DR. JANE CAPUTI
A staple of Greek life is philanthropy, or charity, where sororities and fraternities host events to raise money for good causes, or volunteer for a non-profit directly. But one specific guideline in the College Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council Philanthropy Resolutions stands out: “No kidnapping or shenanigans will be tolerated under any circumstances.” There’s a specific history behind this rule, according to Coleman. Sororities and fraternities used to hold activities where some members were “kidnapped” or “jailed” and had to be “bailed out” to raise money for their cause, but that layout soured quickly. “It was in no way related to hazing, but because of the connotations and other unintended consequences, this practice was removed from philanthropic activities,” she said. Coleman declined to comment on what the “unintended consequences” were.
Home Sweet Unofficial Home AFTER ALMOST 30 YEARS, FAU’S OFFICE OF FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE IS STILL UNSURE IF HOUSING FOR GREEK LIFE IS COMING ANYTIME SOON. BY KRISTEN GRAU
LAST SEMESTER, FAU struggled to fit students into on-campus dorms and apartments — so they placed the excess students in a nearby hotel. But an even longer housing struggle they’ve dealt with is getting official, university-affiliated fraternity and sorority houses, either on or off-campus. FAU has been proposing on-campus Greek housing since 1990, according to a Sun-Sentinel article that year. The idea started circulating again in 2007, 2011, and 2015, according to University Press articles. But after almost 30 years of wrestling with the idea, fraternity and sorority officials say that administration is still looking into it, but aren’t sure when — or if — Greek housing is coming to FAU. “I don’t see it happening next year,” said Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Rafael Zapata. “I don’t know where in the future that might lie.”
ALPHA EPSILON PI’S UNOFFICIAL FRAT HOME. PHOTO BY SIMONE STEWART
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The Greek life population at FAU has boomed from a total of 368 in 2002 to 1,357 as of last year, according to semesterly reports on Greek membership, GPAs, and philanthropy called community reports. But even as the Greek life population grows, it seems that FAU isn’t currently making the efforts it previously did to house the members.
UNOFFICIAL AND UNFUNDED Though some fraternity and sorority members may choose to live together off campus, these houses or apartments are not officially affiliated with the university, Kristina Keel, executive vice president of FAU’s College Panhellenic Association (CPA), said. “There are no letters on the outside or official financial backing,” she said via email, noting some differences between other universities’ affiliations with fraternity and sorority housing and FAU’s setup. Keel, a sorority sister, said she’s glad that Greek life members are able to live with others who aren’t in their own fraternity or sorority. However, some fraternity and sorority members said they would like FAU to keep pushing for Greek housing for a tighter sense of community. “It’s quite a shame [there’s no housing], but I know that we’re welcome here,” Boca campus governor and Pi Kappa Phi brother Luke Turner said. “I wish we could have Greek housing — it would just help create a better atmosphere for students, especially in the Greek community.” Even if FAU Greek life members may be missing out on some of those experiences, Fraternity and Sorority Life Associate Director Elaine Jahnsen said via email there are upsides to not having official housing. A big one, she argued, was FAU’s “substantially lower” Greek life fees compared to other universities. According to the University of Central Florida’s Greek life information website, the rent from housing alone can cost $1,500 to $3,300 — and members are expected to pay that on top of their chapter dues, which cost $300 to $400 per semester.
At Auburn University, a college in Alabama, the rent per semester for their official fraternity houses ranged from $800 to $2,950 in 2016. And like UCF, students have additional dues to pay on top of that. But at FAU, the average total fraternity and sorority dues, or payments, are around $630. That amount only reflects organizations within the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and CPA, and only includes those whose dues are stated on their constitutions available on Owl Central. This also excludes one-time payment fees for new members. For organizations with unofficial housing, members still have to pay fees to maintain it depending on the organization, but the fees are much smaller than traditional rents. For example, the sorority Alpha Delta Pi’s constitution says that members owe only $15 per semester for “decorations and furnishings.” And another sorority, Phi Mu, has a $75 fee listed on their constitution for “housing and decoration.” Jahnsen also said that because most Greek life events happen at FAU, it’s convenient for students already living on campus and not at fraternity or sorority houses off campus. FAU hasn’t ruled out official Greek housing, but recently, it hasn’t taken any major steps, and administration doesn’t know when they will. “I believe it is something administration is interested in,” Jahnsen said, “but [I] am not sure where in the planning process they currently are regarding housing.”
WHAT’S BEEN KNOCKING DOWN GREEK HOUSING? In 1990, the Sun-Sentinel reported that FAU’s thendirector of housing had granted fraternities a row of housing on the corner of campus by the Boca Raton Airport. But the IFC declined to use the space “with hopes of being re-zoned into a better location.” But in later years, Greek life never got that “better location.”
In 2007, FAU even paid $6,000 to an outside consultant, Tom Jelke, for a week-long “assessment” of the Greek community, the University Press reported at the time. The goal was to give FAU a clear idea on whether or not Greek housing was feasible. Jelke said that “the university could go either way” when it comes to introducing fraternity and sorority houses, but this assessment did not result in Greek housing, according to the University Press. Another effort the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office made came in 2011, when they created a “housing task force” and traveled to Auburn University to scout their housing model, the University Press previously reported. They considered a model called a “Greek Village,” where members of the same fraternity or sorority can live with or near their fellow members in the same building. The alternative model is off-campus, university-affiliated housing at universities like Florida State University and the University of Central Florida. And the most recent attempt to bring Greek housing to campus was in 2015, when construction was halted in favor of the nature preserve near the football stadium. The University Press reported that a Student Government bill proposed building Greek housing on lot five, north of the stadium. But professors and students argued against this, saying that housing would harm the preserve’s animals and possibly prevent biology research traditionally done in the area, and the idea fell through. Zapata said that the process of bringing Greek housing to campus wouldn’t happen overnight. It’s a “complicated” process that involves city permits and commitment from organizations. “It will take some time for anything of that stature to actually develop,” he said.
THE HISTORY THROUGH HEADLINES The headlines used in the University Press and local news outlets show that attempts to bring Greek housing to FAU are often fruitless. After efforts from both the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Government, FAU has yet to break ground on official Greek life housing. These headlines from 1990 to 2015 tell their own tale of the pushes and pulls for Greek housing at FAU.
FAU hopes to increase housing options, fraternities see interest in Greek housing
Is Greek Housing on the Horizon?
Fraternity and Sorority Life say they’re closer than ever to getting Greek housing
Greek Housing vs. Nature Preserve: What Will Prevail?
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