New IFC regulations will help Greeks

The new Greek changes will create a better environment for all who are involved



The new IFC initiative marks a new era for greek life at WSU, which can lead to a healthier and safer environment for all who are involved.

In light of recent events in the Pullman community, particularly the tragic loss of Samuel Martinez on Nov. 12, the WSU Interfraternity Council (IFC) decided that the Greek community in Pullman must change. The first step in this communal change is the IFC development initiative, which was first released on Jan. 12.

While many may disagree with the new policies brought by the initiative, this change being instituted by the interfraternity council is necessary to keep the Greek community alive here at WSU. It is the best and only option to properly move forward and ensure that WSU never again loses a student to alcohol-related activities.

The initiative has nine major components, each with their own specific requirements, regulations, and action plans. These key components are: a membership behavioral assessment; updated policies for new member education programs; new rules for big-little events, chapter advisor conferences; a legislative lobbying committee; alcohol/risk education programming requirements; a contingencyp lan; new policy violation sanctions regarding hard alcohol; and new requirements for each chapter to be removed from socialsuspension.

An additional step in the overall IFC initiative to improve the Greek system is executive order No. 1. Released on Jan. 26 by IFC president Aaron Fandel, this order prohibits social events involving alcohol from 8am Sunday to 5pm Thursday. It also states that each group on campus is required to hold its members accountable for the individual behaviors and violations of each organization’s code and bylaws.

Executive order no. 1 is expected to be adhered to along with the IFC rnitiative regulation prohibiting alcoholic beverages above 15 percent ABV at social events. These regulations come with serious consequences if violated. The initiative directly states that if a chapter is found to violate the alcohol policy, it will be put on social probation for no less than eight weeks, with repeated violations prompting first a 14-week probation period, and then removal of the violating chapter from campus.

he IFC hopes raising sentences and charges of these laws will serve as a deterrent from participating in hazing or alcohol furnishing here at Washington State.

The executive order was a product of collaboration between the chapter presidents of Fraternities at Washington State University and the IFC.

“They all came to meetings with the council and discussed things over a period of time that extended beyond a week. And through those discussions we came away with the answer of ‘we shouldn’t be having social events during those days of the week,” Andrew Thomas, PR chair of IFC, said.

The legislative lobbying committee within the initiative could also significantly impact the WSU Greek community. This group is being formed by IFC with the intention of lobbying the state legislature in Olympia on laws pertaining to hazing and alcohol.

The ultimate goal of this community is to potentially raise the charge of hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony, as well as possibly raising either the minimum or maximum charge for alcohol furnishing, which currently is a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“When you look at hazing right now, it’s a misdemeanor in the state. I think our community can maybe benefit from making that a felony,” Thomas said.

Ultimately, the IFC made this decision out of the hope that the Greek system at WSU will be able to take corrective action and fix problems on its own, before an outside third-party, such as the university, takes corrective action on its own, which could involve more severe consequences upon the system.

The initiative could also end up boosting the appeal of the Greek system to outsiders. Informal recruitment is already underway for chapters across campus, and regulations that standardize new member education and prevent alcohol at big-little events provide incentive for potential new members to feel more comfortable about their safety when going to join a Greek chapter.

“It’s obviously gonna add more of a safe feeling and I feel like it will bring me and my [potential] brothers closer together,” Cole Kushin, a kinesiology major and potential new member currently going through informal recruitment, said.

Overall, the IFC initiative marks the beginning of a new atmosphere in WSU Greek life, with greater communication and transparency between fraternity chapters and the interfraternity council. This change should be welcomed, as it is essential to the survival of the system and only the first step in what will become the new environment on Greek Row moving forward.