Guethshina Altena/Assistant News Director
Despite being on a University-wide pause, Greek organizations are still required to pay a fees to the University.
Those fees, part of Greeks’ semesterly dues, usually cover educational opportunities and activities. This month however, the fees went towards workshops and conferences according to Anthony DeSantis, assistant vice president for Student Affairs at BBC.
“We are still providing educational workshops, training, we are still providing all the services we usually provide to the chapters which is why those fees are still in existence,” DeSantis said.
Students are still getting their full worth of the fees through conferences and all the available resources to Fraternity and Sorority Life, according to DeSantis.
“As a chapter, they are stopping responsibilities but as an office, we still have responsibilities to the chapters to make sure that they are educated and safe,” DeSantis said.
Out of the 37 greek organizations at FIU, 14 of them are on probation, and DeSantis said that this probation time is an opportunity for rehabilitation.
“Our community right now is not safe, is not healthy, is not sustainable, and you can see that going back to the years prior and the president decided that he wanted this pause to take an effect,” DeSantis said. “So we as a community as a staff had to come up with a plan to take a look at the chapters, take a look at the community and worked with the alumni and the advisors to change this culture.”
DeSantis said that they urged students to embrace the FIU values of truth, freedom, respect, responsibility and excellence.
“How are we being inclusive and respectful across all council, all 37 chapters? It’s having people re-think through how we create a culture of respect, a culture of excellence, how we are truthful when we are talking about things that are going on, how we can have freedom of conversation and still have respect each other’s opinions,” he said.
DeSantis said many departments including the president’s office came together to bring about a solution for the disruption and increase in greek endangering occurrences.
“This really needs to be a community wide effort, from the chapters to the councils, the advisors, the alumni and the administration that are here,” DeSantis said “Everybody has to play a role in believing and understanding that a shift needs to occur and being cognizant of it is going to take some work,”
Although some Greek organization refused to comment on the topic, a few students, like Sigma Lambda Beta president Mark Doughlin, voiced their agreements.
“The University Pause on All Greek activities was, in my opinion, a necessary measure to help each organization reconnect with the values that FIU stands for,” said Doughlin in a statement to Student Media. “It also pushed us, us being the presidents and executive board members of each organization, to create ways to reinforce the principles and values that each each individual organization at FIU stands for.”
DeSantis and the staff of Fraternity and Sorority life has worked with the Greek leaders through many workshops and steps to ensure a smooth process from the pause to reinstatement.
“We want you to be engaged in the shift, we want you to create ways to really prevent disruptive and dangerous behaviors, we want you to find ways to keep your members accountable, not only on the chapter level, but also on the council level,” DeSantis said.
Greek organizations will be given three chances to present for a chance to be reinstated during the 2018 spring semester. If an organization is still under probation by the end of the semester, they will no longer be recognized by the University Fraternity & Sorority Life.
Feature Image by Michelle Marchante/PantherNOW