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Ohio State releases action plan for fraternities with hopes of lifting suspension before recruitment

Ohio State suspended its 37 IFC fraternities Nov. 16 as a precautionary measure. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

The 37 fraternity chapters at Ohio State that make up the Interfraternity Council now have a roadmap to resuming social and recruitment activities following the sweeping social suspension handed down from the Office of Student Life Nov. 16.

The eight-page plan released Friday comes after weeks of post-suspension talks between IFC chapter presidents and university administrators.

The comprehensive plan covers everything from updated recruitment policies to new member education plans, each with an emphasis on anti-hazing education, as well as detailed alcohol policies.

Ohio State crafted the action plan with the hopes of reinstating the chapters before recruitment season begins in January, a time in which fraternities seek new members and grow individual chapters.

Each individual chapter must draft and submit a detailed plan for conducting recruitment activities to hand over to Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL) within the Office of Student Life. This plan includes a timeline of activities — with the date and location of each event included — a vision statement, description of the recruitment process and alcohol and hazing prevention plans.

Recruitment plans must be approved by SFL, the fraternity’s national organization and chapter advisers before an organization can begin interacting with potential new members.

As the new member process begins, chapters must submit education plans outlining safety and health procedures. This plan must include a statement on alcohol use during the new member-education process, a statement on how alcohol consumption reflects the organization’s values and a commitment to anti-hazing education.

Potential new Greek life members also will have to attend educational sessions before joining. Created by SFL with input from Greek student leaders, they will cover topics such as anti-hazing, alcohol misuse, sexual misconduct and Title IX.

For social activities, chapters will have to submit a detailed calendar outlining its planned events for the semester. It will have to include date, location and time; an explanation of the event; any co-sponsors; and if alcohol will be present.

Chapters will not be able to host more than 20 events with alcohol present between two time windows: Aug. 15 through Dec. 31, and Jan. 1 through Aug. 14.

Combined activities, such as pregames and date parties, will be counted as one event with SFL approval.

The Office of Student Life is working to become more transparent, as well. Previously, fraternity suspensions were not made public unless a specific inquiry on an individual chapter was made to the office, often resulting in emailed statements with little detail on cease and desists or suspensions.

Now, the university said it will post information on suspensions or cease and desists online, as well as rulings on disciplinary actions. That information will include what section of the code of conduct was violated, sanctions and, in the case of suspensions, a date when the chapter could return to campus.

Following the social suspension, IFC President Drew Cooper and the 37 chapter presidents invited Office of Student Life administrators Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, the senior vice president for student life, and Ryan Lovell, the director of sorority and fraternity life, to attend IFC’s Nov. 29 meeting and present the university leaders with the fraternity council’s own action plan.

University President Michael Drake was invited but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

At the meeting, IFC outlined its new procedures and policies with hopes of reinstatement in the near future.

The plan released Friday is Ohio State’s response to IFC’s proposals and the product of ongoing discussions with the fraternities.

“It is our hope that the chapters can begin working on this immediately over winter break, with the expectation that they would have completed this process early in spring semester,” Dave Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life, told The Lantern.

Update, Dec. 15 at 5:20 p.m.: This article has been updated to include specific information on the recruitment, social event and new member plans IFC chapters must submit to Ohio State. 

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