Editor's note: This story was updated to correct information that was inaccurately attributed to Guillaume Diaz.
It is nearly fall break, and there have yet to be any fraternity lodge events on campus. What is typically a cornerstone of campus social life has all but ceased to exist for the time being.
However, lodges aren’t going away. Rather, they are delayed while the Interfraternity Council works out unexpected kinks in the new national policies, said senior Guillaume Diaz, president of IFC, in an emailed statement.
“Lodges have not occurred this year because of the numerous concerns that we received from our initial statement and Student Government visits,” Diaz said in an emailed statement. “We are working to best address these concerns, which has required an additional delay.”
These concerns mostly included worries that the new guest-list policy would leave room for fraternity brothers to abuse the policy by requesting sexual favors from female students to allow them on the list.
Westhampton College Government Association senators first publicly raised these concerns at a meeting between WCGA and IFC in September. Diaz acknowledged those concerns again in a phone interview.
WCGA recently raised the issue again with a post on Instagram.
“Reminder: Accepting or asking for sexual favors for access to any fraternity lodge list is sexual harassment,” the post read. “No matter who offers.”
The post was created in response to the concern that many senators on WCGA felt after the IFC presented the new policies to them, senior Monica Stack, president of WCGA, said.
“There have been jokes going around and different concerns about what people might feel pressured to do to get on a lodge list,” Stack said. “Not that anybody is enforcing that or accepting that, but even that idea existing in a joke or a theoretical form is problematic. We just wanted to put that reminder out there to make people stop and think.”
IFC members have been working to prevent this concern from becoming reality, Diaz said. They have previously communicated with Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisers, Spiders for Spiders, Sexual Misconduct Education and Prevention Coordinator Britnie Hopkins and health educator Sarah Sheppard to create a training program for each fraternity chapter’s risk-management team to help minimize the opportunity for abuse of the policy, Diaz said.
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There has been a delay in lodges because the trainings have taken a while to develop, Diaz said.
“We don’t want to host trainings for the sake of trainings just to say we’re doing something,” Diaz said. “We want to do something applicable.”
IFC has also contacted WCGA to inform its members on the process, Stack said, and to thank them for their input. They also had a discussion, she said, about inclusivity and safety, and how both organizations can work together to make sure those ideas were prioritized.
The university played no decisive role in delaying lodges, Meg Pevarski, assistant director of Greek life, stated in an email interview. However, the university was kept in the loop to help provide guidance, she said.
“We were involved in conversation alongside the IFC/chapter leadership where the decision was made to delay the opening in order to ensure that proper training was able to occur,” Pevarski stated.
As of now, other than the trainings to help better control the implementation of the new policies, there have been no changes or additions to the policies themselves, both Pevarski and Diaz said.
“We are committed to being prepared for the first lodge,” Diaz said. “As of now, we plan to open lodges after fall break.”
No official date has been set yet for first lodges, Diaz said, because trainings have not yet happened for risk-management teams.
Contact news editor Julia Raimondi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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