UCF takes steps to reinstate Greek organizations on campus - FOX 35 News Orlando

UCF takes steps to reinstate Greek organizations on campus

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The rules have been set, the plan has been laid out, and now students at the University of Central Florida know what it will take for their sorority or fraternity to be reinstated before the end of the school year.

About three weeks ago, UCF suspended just about all Greek life activity on campus. Around 200 students packed the Pegasus Ballroom in the Student Union on Thursday night  to ask questions and vent emotions.

Some students on campus agreed a change is needed.

"I think it's a little tough," said Justin Hamil, a junior at UCF. "Ultimately, something needs to be done, so maybe a harsher course of action is the best way."

"From what I've seen there does need to be some sort of a change," said Rochelle Wright, a junior at UCF. "There does need to be some sort of cooperation between the admin. and Greek life."

Hazing has been a topic of discussion and debate in Florida since the November 2011 death of Robert Champion. The Florida A&M University drum major died after a brutal hazing ritual aboard a bus.

Chad Binette, a spokesperson for the school said administrators are hoping to address issues of hazing and alcohol abuse.

"We've had some recent cases with allegations involving hazing as well as alcohol abuse," said Binette. "It's enough of a systemic problem that we wanted to take a strong look at it as an entire Greek community."

UCF confirmed two organizations, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Chi, are on interim suspension for allegations relating to alcohol and hazing.  FOX 35 also learned eight other organizations are on probation.

The school has now asked every organization to present in depth plans on how members will improve Greek life. Organizations whose plans are not approved will have a chance to improve in certain areas and resubmit a plan.

UCF officials said they will also gather information on best practices from around the country to develop a comprehensive plan to address alcohol and hazing issues.
"We're looking for a stronger Greek community as we emerge from this," said Binette. "We're looking for organizations committed to preventing hazing, preventing alcohol abuse, and organizations that espouse the values that we want them to at UCF."

However, several members asked administrators at the forum why all organizations had to be condemned for the actions of a few.

"I think it's really tragic because there are a lot of sororities and fraternities that represent UCF well and go by the creed of excellence," said freshman William Santos.

Students will find out whether their chapter has been reinstated during the week of April 1st. Even if a chapter is reinstated, members will not be allowed to hold social events involving alcohol or have any overnight trips for the remainder of this semester.

More than 3,100 students participate in 48 recognized Greek organizations at UCF.

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