Fraternity & Sorority Life

January 3, 2018

On November 9, 2017, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Interfraternity Council (IFC) enacted a self-imposed suspension on all social and new member activities after learning that some member chapters were not consistently living up to its expectations for high standards of conduct.

The self-imposed suspension on social and new member activities allowed IFC to conduct an extensive review over the past eight weeks to identify the policies and practices needing improvement within the community. IFC utilized this review, working in conjunction with the university’s Office of Greek Life, to identify necessary areas of improvement and develop reforms to address them on a chapter by chapter basis. These reforms will be enacted as IFC continues to pursue internal improvement.

IFC will begin a phased process of restoring social event privileges on January 3, 2018. This process will not constitute an immediate lift of the social suspension for all IFC chapters. The phased process will involve chapters being notified of specific action plans they will need to complete. Chapter action plans were determined on an individual chapter basis through a review conducted by the IFC Executive Board. These action plans were designed to guide chapters to effectively address their specific needs. Chapters must fulfill all parts of their assigned action plan to regain social event privileges. However, the necessary final approval will be made at the discretion of the IFC Executive Board.

Chapters are encouraged to work with the IFC Executive Board, their respective inter/national organizations, and the Office of Greek Life to effectively address their unique areas of required improvements. Once areas of improvement are addressed, it is expected that chapters will continue to pursue ongoing internal reviews of practices as they develop necessary reforms.

IFC believes that doing so will ensure that solutions endure as positive and long-standing reforms.

We are confident that the 27 chapters of IFC will take the necessary steps to address the chapter policies and practices to more fully comply with expectations for the management of social events. These steps also will allow IFC chapters to foster more safe and inclusive environments for all University of Michigan community members. In doing so, it is our intention that chapter conduct will better reflect the values held by IFC.

 

Will this affect Winter 2018 Recruitment?

Formal Recruitment for the Winter 2018 semester will continue as scheduled, beginning January 9, 2018. As detailed in the IFC Bylaws, this is a period dedicated to values-based recruitment, and therefore it is expected that recruitment will continue to be alcohol-free. This rule applies to all IFC chapters, regardless of their social suspension status. No IFC-sanctioned social events will be permitted or occur during the Winter 2018 recruitment period.

To better promote the safety of all potential new members, IFC chapters will now be required to submit detailed overviews of their new member recruitment and education plans to the IFC Executive Board and to the Office of Greek Life. These plans must provide information on events, goals, and chapter conduct during each respective period. All plans must also comply with the expectations of the respective inter/national organization. Once submitted, the IFC Executive Board will determine if the plans are satisfactory to promote community member safety. Failure to gain approval from the IFC Executive Board in the necessary timeframe will render a chapter ineligible to extend membership invitations.

Does the self-imposed suspension affect all fraternity functions?

The self-imposed suspension applies to all IFC social events. However, we recognize that IFC fraternities engage in other important activities throughout the course of a semester. IFC will permit philanthropic events and necessary chapter business, such as chapter and executive board meetings to continue as long as they are compliant with IFC regulations, including the Social Environment Management Policy.

How does this help make social safer?

The safety and security of community members is of the utmost concern for IFC. We are actively pursuing and implementing ways to increase community member safety. These efforts include removing hard alcohol from all IFC-sanctioned events, limiting days that social events may be held, and increasing the number of Sober Monitors required at all IFC-sanctioned social events. These steps are being taken to ensure that IFC-sanctioned social events foster safe and inclusive environments for all University of Michigan community members.

What will change for the new member process?

Chapters will be expected to submit a detailed overview of their new member education process to IFC and the Office of Greek Life. In doing so, the new member education process should be more transparent and safe for all new members. Only plans that meet IFC, University of Michigan, and the respective inter/national organization policy will be approved. Failure to garner approval for new member education plans will render them ineligible to accept a new membership class. If a chapter is found to be in violation of their approved new member education overview, they will be referred to the Greek Activities Review Panel for sanctioning.

What are expectations for individual members?

Community-wide reform is only possible with the active engagement of our general membership. Thus, IFC expects that chapter leaders will pursue a mix of education seminars, meetings and planning sessions to ensure that a positive example is set for all general chapter members. Additionally, all IFC chapters will be required to hold meetings that outline policy changes with a majority of their membership in attendance. In accordance with bystander intervention practices, we expect that general members will speak up if they find themselves in situations where the safety of community members may be in question.

When will the self-imposed suspension end?

IFC chapters will be removed from social suspension once they have fulfilled their assigned action plan and have received approval from the IFC Executive Board. As a result, chapters may regain social event privileges at different times depending on their ability to satisfy all requirements. IFC hopes that chapters will utilize this time to fully address areas of improvement. It is also recommended that chapters continuously review and address policies to promote practices that consistently align with the values held by IFC.

What happens if chapter’s fail to fulfill their action plans or violate IFC and/or University of Michigan policy?

Chapters that are unable to fulfill or violate stipulations within their action plans, will be referred to the Greek Activities Review Panel by the IFC Executive Board for sanctioning. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to, restrictions on new member recruitment, further social event restrictions, removal of IFC recognition or IFC and university recommendation to inter/national organizations that charters be removed. These sanctions may also be active for chapters that are found to violate IFC and/or University of Michigan policy during this time.