In just over a month, incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to join LSU Greek Life through IFC and PHC recruitment. New members might not notice the slight changes to the Greek Life system, but there’s no doubt they’ll be familiar with why the changes have happened.
On Sept. 14, LSU freshman Maxwell Gruver was killed during a hazing ritual at Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The aftermath of his death rocked the University and the Greek Life system at the University and across the state. LSU President F. King Alexander approved 28 recommendations from the Task Force on Greek Life on Feb. 28, which were then revised by the implementation committee, who also reviewed and revised existing policies, according the LSU Media Relations director Ernie Ballard.
The implementation committee finished their work on June 15, but the policies have to go through a review and approval process before Alexander signs off on them, according to Ballard.
A statement on the President’s Task Force on Greek Life website said, “these documents are now going through the university’s administrative approval process and will be posted...once they become official.” According to the website, the University expects these policies to be posted by July 15.
Ballard said the University approval process is different depending on the type of policy. For permanent memorandums, the implementation committee reviews the policy and then it is sent statewide to LSU system chancellors who then provide feedback on the policy as it relates to their campuses. For policy statements, such as PS-78, the University’s alcohol and drug policy, after the committee finished their revisions the various LSU - Baton Rouge deans review the policy and provide feedback. Finally, Alexander will sign off on any changes to both policy statements and permanent memorandums.
Ballard said the LSU Student Code of Conduct is also being revised, and those changes are set to go into effect on Aug. 1.
One of the more dramatic changes being implemented is a change to PS-78. On Feb. 28, after Alexander accepted the task force’s recommendations, the University implemented a ban on hard alcohol and common source alcohol at all registered Greek Life events, including tailgates and all social events. Ballard said PS-78 already included a ban on common source alcohol, such as kegs, but the new policy includes a ban on hard alcohol at all on- and off-campus events.
Also included in the revised PS-78 will be a new rule for official LSU fraternity tailgates. In the past, Greek chapters have set up their tailgates on the Parade Ground. Starting with the 2018 football season, fraternities must restrict their tailgates to chapter houses and restrict alcohol and non-member guests to common areas during such events. There will also be a limit of three non-member guests for every member in attendance.
Another policy being implemented by the committee is the creation of a web portal, curated by the Office of Greek Life, as a source of information for potential pledges, their families and the general public. The portal will provide “transparent, credible and objective” information including a rolling five-year history of adjudicated chapter disciplinary matters. It will also include educational metrics such as chapter GPA, current membership contracts and a link to the organizations’ drug and alcohol policies.