Phi Gamma Delta off two-week supervised probation

Fiji’s president attended closed hearing with Greek Standards Board, apologized



Austin Loomis, director of Policy and Procedure of the Interfraternity Council, explains the process of Fiji’s hearing Tuesday afternoon in the CUB. “It’s [one of the] longest hearings that I’ve had,” he said.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen editor-in-chief

Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, recently ended its two-week supervised probation that was called for days after a culturally offensive video surfaced on social media.

The fraternity published a video of its members dressed in grass skirts Sept. 17 as part of their philanthropy week. The video received backlash from not only the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, but the multicultural community as a whole.

Austin Loomis, director of policy and procedure of the WSU Interfraternity Council, said the Greek Standards Board held a closed hearing with Max Hummer, Phi Gamma Delta president, on Sept. 25. Loomis said he understood the importance of this meeting.

“It’s [one of the] longest hearings that I’ve had,” Loomis said.

Loomis was unable to discuss any specifics of the hearing due to the confidentiality agreements they signed, but explained the process and what chapter representatives are able to do during a hearing.

Hummer was the only Phi Gamma Delta representative present during the hearing, he said.

The chapter representatives have the opportunity to plead if they were responsible for their actions or not, Loomis said. If the representative pleads not responsible, they are given time to explain their side. If the representative pleads responsible, on the other hand, sanctions are given to the chapter which is determined by what penalty suits the situation best.

Loomis said the board decided to place Phi Gamma Delta on supervised probation from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14. The fraternity also received expectations from the national organization of Phi Gamma Delta, which included issuing a formal apology letter and engaging with multicultural organizations on campus.

Rick Flores, United Greek Council president, said Hummer came to a United Greek Association meeting and apologized to representatives from every chapter under the UGA.

Flores said Hummer also offered to meet with any multicultural chapter to discuss possible ways to educate his fraternity and avoid situations like this in the future. Hummer also reached out to the Asian Pacific American Student Coalition as well as Asian-American and Pacific Islander student organizations.

Flores said he appreciated Hummer owning up to his fraternity’s mistakes and the effort he is putting into working toward a solution.

“[Hummer] was fairly apologetic and really put it out there that he really wants to work toward making sure that no student ever feels offended by the actions of his fraternity,” Flores said. “For me and my council, that’s a big thing to put yourself out there in front of a group of people that are very upset at you.”

He said Phi Gamma Delta is trying to find a way to support their philanthropy without appropriating a culture. Flores thinks Hummer’s apology was sincere, but hopes he sticks to his word.

“I hope the action that he puts forward, along with his fraternity, reflects what he was conveying to us,” Flores said. “I just hope it’s not empty words.”