The President’s Task Force on Greek Life discussed a trimmed list of recommendations, including two new amnesty policies. However, Chairman Rob Stuart said random drug testing is not off the table.
“I think we recognize that we have a drug problem across the campus, but in Greek Life, it is creating certain problems,” Stuart said. “I think we are, at a minimum, going to be mandating that the chapters come up with ways to reduce illegal drug activity.”
Stuart proposed that two amnesty policies be developed — medical and reporting or bystander.
Dean of Students Maria Fuentes-Martin mentioned that the campus police facilitates a service called “If You See Something, Say Something,” which allows members of the University to anonymously report suspicious behavior to LSUPD.
“A bystander program can be helpful,” Fuentes-Martin said. “I am going to advocate that we need to do that”.
English sophomore Camille Flint said that students often consider whether or not they will be “punished if they call for help.”
SG president Jason Badeaux agreed that “amnesty [was] absolutely necessary.” However, he said it may not be effective because members may lack trust in personnel and advisers, and would still fear reporting these issues in their communities.
Fuentes-Martin said that trust between advisers and students is “a two way street.”
“When something happens, the advisers are the first people to find out,” said kinesiology junior Madison Hopper. “We don’t try to sweep things under the rug.”
Membership contracts are still being considered by the Task Force. However, it is unclear whether respective chapters will be expected to draft membership contracts, or the University will draft uniform contracts.
Stuart also discussed the possibility of implementing a Uniform Code of Infraction.
“Anything that is a violation of the code of conduct should come to the Dean of Students,” Fuentes-Martin said.
LSU Faculty Senate President Kenneth McMillin agreed, but said code of conduct guidelines and principles should be uniform for all students “regardless of their representation in a University group.”
Still on the table is the development of a web portal for prospective members and their families. The web portals would include member demographics, chapter GPA, five-year history of chapter disciplinary matters, chapter philanthropy and community service activities.
Stuart dismissed all suggested academic requirement policies for Greek Life. The average GPA of University fraternity members in the fall of 2017 was 2.902, compared to the national men’s average of 2.808, Stuart said. The average GPA of University sorority members in the fall of 2017 was 3.291, compared to the University women’s average of 3.189.
Stuart added that the five-year graduation rate of Greek students was 75 percent compared to the five-year average of non-Greek students, which is 55 percent.
Some of the potential policy changes that survived the week of subcommittee deliberations were the instillation of chapter advisory boards and establishing uniform criteria for chapter advisory boards.
The Task Force also discussed developing the University's working definition of hazing in an attempt to make it more “specific” and “operational.”
Fuentes-Martin said that it would be difficult to decide what actions would be included under the umbrella of “hazing.”
“What are considered as brotherhood and sisterhood events are edging hazing,” Fuentes-Martin said. “Every chapter has their own interpretation of hazing.”
McMillin and Badeaux asked the Task Force what exactly counts as “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behaviors.
“We absolutely have to draw a line or we can't continue,” Badeaux said. “Our definition of hazing is so broad and so big that there is no line drawn.”
The Task Force is also considering reviewing PM-68, which is the Construction, Modification, Maintenance, Care, and Operation of Sorority and Fraternity Houses Located on University Property.
Before the Task Force presents its final list of recommendations Feb. 21, they will confer with the parents of University freshman Maxwell Gruver, Stuart said.