Editor’s note: The following is a letter sent to Greek Life among all of Grand Valley State University immediately following the Town Hall on Oct. 31 which imposed sanctions upon the community. The letter was penned by Associate Dean for Student Life Bob Stoll.
Dear Members of the GV Fraternity/Sorority Community,
This evening I had the opportunity to attend the Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the Greek Life Board to follow up and discuss concerns raised in my letter to the fraternity/sorority community. I was pleased to see student leadership initiate a call to action and organize a town hall meeting to address issues.
In the past week another national governing body has pulled a fraternity charter for alcohol and risk management violations. There continues to be a pattern of behavior within the larger fraternity and sorority community that we believe endangers student welfare and undermines the University’s objectives. Nine (9) different GVSU chapters have been sanctioned, suspended, or removed over the past five (5) years for alcohol, drug, property destruction, hazing, and other policy or law violations. Significant and fundamental reform within the GVSU community is required
While I appreciate the initiative of the student led town hall meeting tonight, university administrators see a critical need for more immediate action. Earlier today I received notification from the dean to immediately implement the following administrative actions and communicate to students and advisors associated with the fraternity and sorority community:
1: All fraternity and sorority events with alcohol are suspended until further notice, and until such time as we have confidence that student welfare and institutional obligations can be achieved by removing this suspension.
2: Additional chapter expansion efforts are suspended until a new framework for evaluating expansion requests is in place and approved. (The two chapters previously approved to accept new members, but not yet chartered, may continue their chartering plans: Alpha Epsilon Pi and Delta Gamma).
3: The Relationship Statement document, which is currently in development, will not be signed or implemented until discussion about expectations have occurred and are appropriately incorporated into the document.
4: An institutionally approved Task Force of students, faculty, and staff will be formed as soon as reasonably feasible to examine issues within and expectations of the GVSU fraternity and sorority community.
It is the university’s expectation that the Task Force will include students, staff, and faculty; will consult widely with those who have a stake in the university’s mission; will result in stronger student leadership and staff oversight for the fraternity and sorority community; and will assure deep reflection about both what must change and the fundamental reform necessary to assure the pattern of problematic issues we’ve experienced is ameliorated. This University supports the values, purposes, and existence of positive Greek Life, and we have an institutionally-charged responsibility to assure that GVSU is an exemplar in achieving it. In the days ahead, we will talk more about the formation of the Task Force.
I appreciated the great attendance and standing room only crowd tonight. Many comments and concerns were presented at the town hall meeting, I look forward to partnering with student leadership and addressing these challenges facing our community.
Associate Dean for Student Life