CSU, Chico Suspends Social Greek Organizations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 11-15-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
530-898-4143

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg announced today, Nov. 15, that all social Greek letter organizations on campus are suspended immediately until further notice.

He made the announcement in a noon meeting with approximately 400 fraternity and sorority members in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium on the CSU, Chico campus.

CSU, Chico will communicate with fraternities and sororities at the beginning of the spring 2013 semester about new guidelines chapters must meet to be considered for reinstatement. Until that time, campus fraternities and sororities may not hold any activities or events and must remove or cover up the Greek letters on their chapter houses.

CSU, Chico has approximately 1,200 students in 26 social Greek organizations. The University’s fall 2012 enrollment is 16,470 students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Drew Calandrella, who also addressed the students at the meeting, said a number of serious incidents had taken place involving Greek chapters in 2012, including alcohol policy violations, allegations of hazing, alleged assaults and other violations of rules governing Greek life on campus. While he said some of the fraternities and sororities were “exemplars,” the behavior of others reflected poorly on the entire Greek system and the University as a whole.

Zingg described in stark terms the dangers of binge drinking, out of control parties and treatment of chapter recruits that constitutes hazing.  He said recent examples of these behaviors had tarnished the Greek system on campus and necessitated the suspension of all chapters.

“We need to reset, review and think about our future together,” Zingg said. “The system has to rise or fall on the commitment of its members.”

Calandrella and Zingg used the analogy of the airline industry, where one serious aircraft problem means the fleet must be grounded until the problem is assessed.

Calandrella said he understood some students were upset about the decision.  “I’m asking all of you to reflect on what you stand for,” he said, both as individuals and as organizations. “The question to ask is: Are you committed?”

Calandrella said Student Affairs staff had spoken fraternity and sorority leadership earlier this year warning them that serious violations occurring could bring changes for Greek chapters on campus.

Calandrella said he anticipated some top-flight chapters might not have difficulty meeting new strict guidelines for reinstatement. Regarding other chapters being reinstated, he said, “Some won’t come back – some won’t choose to come back.”

Zingg said he wants a Greek presence on campus, and told the students he was a 45-year member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. “I follow them with pride,” he said. But fraternities and sororities must live up to their charters, which stand for scholarship, civility, brotherhood and other values that the University also shares. “Like it or not, you are leaders on this campus,” he said.

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