UA fraternities allowed to conduct spring pledge recruitment

UA fraternities allowed to conduct spring pledge recruitment

Most of the graduate courses I completed for my master’s degree were held in this building where the Anthropology Department resides.

Adrienne Burch

Despite allegations of a culture of hazing in Interfraternity Council fraternity houses last semester, The University of Alabama has made no changes to the IFC fraternity recruitment policies and is allowing seven fraternities to conduct spring pledge recruitment, including two chapters that were investigated following allegations of hazing.

“There have been no changes in the fraternity recruitment process,” Tim Hebson, dean of students, said. “The University has appropriate policies and procedures for our greek students to have a positive new-member experience. It is our expectation that these individuals will adhere to these guidelines.”

The policies and procedures for recruitment, found in the IFC New Member Education Manual of fall 2012, are the same policies and procedures fraternities were operating under last October when pledgeship was cancelled due to multiple hazing allegations.

“The University sent a strong message last fall when it ended pledgeship early,” Hebson said. “We will continue to expect student organizations and their members to work proactively to prevent hazing and to promptly report any concerns or allegations.”

Though assistant dean of students Lowell Davis said on Oct. 18 that the University would form a group to discuss the future of fraternity pledgeship, Cathy Andreen, a University spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that no such group met prior to the start of spring recruitment.

Andreen said the University will convene an anti-hazing task force after spring recruitment.

“An anti-hazing task force is meeting this semester to come up with recommendations for fall recruitment,” Andreen said.

The University cancelled fraternity pledgeship on Oct. 18, 2012 after the University’s hazing hotline received calls regarding hazing in multiple organizations.

Mark Nelson, vice president for Student Affairs, described these hazing incidents in a press conference following the cancellation.

“The hazing that resulted in the three interim suspensions involved several pledges being asked to do exercises,” Nelson said. “These exercises are known as bows and toes where the pledges are asked to rest the weight of the body on their elbows and their toes, sometimes they are asked to put their elbows on bottle tops or broken light bulb glass.”

In the Oct. 18 meeting with the Interfraternity Council fraternity presidents, Davis said pledgeship was cancelled for the semester and that the possibility of spring pledgeship would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Andreen said spring pledgeship was open to all fraternities, and seven have chosen to participate: Chi Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Sigma Kappa, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Sigma Phi, Alpha Sigma Phi, and Sigma Pi.

The University received specific allegations via the hazing hotline for two of the fraternities participating in spring recruitment— Chi Phi and Kappa Sigma— Andreen said in an emailed statement on Oct. 18.

Kappa Sigma was cleared after investigations by Greek Affairs and Judicial Affairs, and Chi Phi was investigated by its national organization.