University sees improvements post-Greek pause

Victoria Abella/Staff Writer

In December of 2017, President Mark B. Rosenberg had sent a letter to the community discussing his decision for the Greek pause.

The last reinstatement meeting for Greek organizations took place in May 2018, marking the commencement of the improvement era. The decision followed after presidents from universities nationwide made similar moves to improve their own Greek life and culture.

“The purpose of this pause in Greek activities is to allow time for the Greek community and university administrators to review and strengthen policies and procedures with the goal of enhancing safety and promoting behavior that is consistent with FIU’s values and our Student Code of Conduct,” the letter said.

“I am very proud of our Greek community since the pause during the Spring of 2018. They’ve come together to support each other, focused on their chapter values, and believe in the FIU’s values,” said Anthony DeSantis, assistant vice president for student affairs.

Some of the improvements could be seen through grade point averages, philanthropic efforts, and raised standards. The average GPA of Greeks in the fall 2018 semester was 3.15, which is the highest it’s been in the last seven semesters.

“They are now holding higher standards when it comes to the safety, well-being, and student success in and out of the classroom” says DeSantis.

New developments include the Community Standards and a Community Standards Board, establishing an agreement between the Greek organizations and the University. It sets guidelines and expectations of Fraternity and Sorority life staff, advisors and chapters/colonies. It covers different areas such as finances, leadership, education, new member, hazing and more.

The “Fraternity & Sorority Life Community Standards Agreement” warns students of academic probation if falling below a 2.7 GPA.

“Each chapter/colony is responsible for awareness of and adherence to university policies that govern student organizations,” according to the agreement.

While there were eight chapters on academic probation for fall 2017, there were now three during fall 2018.

DeSantis also said the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff and the community “implemented educational programming initiatives that focus on the Social Change Model for Leadership Development.” The initiatives include: consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, collaboration, common purpose, controversy with civility and citizenship.

As for Philanthropy and Service, Greeks have raised $152,845 in philanthropic efforts in 2018 alone after the pause. They completed 17,546.50 service hours.

Jilly Herrera, a senior majoring in history and a member of Alpha Chi Omega, believes Greek life has seen vast improvements since the pause.

“Everyone is more responsible, respectful, and supportive of one another regardless of wearing different letters,” said Herrera. “… We’re not only working hard for our philanthropy, but also the philanthropies of our fellow Greeks to make our community as a whole better.”

“Change does not come overnight but our Greeks are working hard to implement this transformational culture shift. I look forward to their continuous growth as individuals and as a holistic community,” said DeSantis.

Photo by FIU Flickr.

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