Greek community expresses outrage over proposed regulations

Proposed restrictions would apply to alcohol, out-of-town formals and women visiting fraternity houses on weekend nights.

At the request of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the Office of Greek Life will host a summit regarding sexual assault and student safety in fraternity houses at 10 a.m. June 20 in Stotler Lounge, according to a flier posted to social media.

At the summit, Loftin is expected to propose new regulations that would ban all alcohol except beer and prohibit women as guests in fraternity houses on weekend nights. The summit has been scheduled to last five hours and executives from Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council chapters have been invited. Notice of the summit was made public to Greek chapters June 2.

According to the invitation sent to Greek Life leaders obtained by The Maneater, the summit will “create strategies for the implementation of the policies.”

“We (students, alumni and admin) will work off the ideas from fraternity alumni and current fraternity leadership is invited,” Loftin said in a tweet Tuesday.

The proposals were created by the Fraternity Alumni Consortium, a group of 25 to 30 alumni who represent the IFC chapters’ alumni boards, according to Loftin’s tweets from Wednesday. It is not yet clear if every IFC fraternity is represented in the consortium.

PHA and chapter presidents, who were not consulted about the proposals, have sent Loftin a letter to express their concerns with the regulations.

Phi Mu member Marcela Messina said she thinks the new restrictions would be “extremely unfair” to the Greek community.

“First of all, a lot of girls go to frats late and stay over because their boyfriends are there … and it would be safer to stay there than to walk home alone and/or intoxicated,” Messina said. “It just seems silly because this regulation could possibly make the matter worse.”

Loftin also said Wednesday on Twitter there would be “limited space” at the summit. Stotler Lounge can hold 200 people, according to the student union's website.

Additionally, several students have expressed outrage at the regulations on social media. Twitter accounts named @SaveMUGreekLife and @StopLoftin surfaced in protest. Students also questioned how the new regulations would impact Homecoming, an MU tradition largely put on by members of Greek Life. According to the Alumni Association website, more than 25,000 people attended campus decorations in Greektown in 2014.

Incoming freshman Alex Weinstock said he is interested in joining Greek Life, but is hesitant after hearing the proposed regulations.

“I was planning on rushing, but now I am kind of weary about doing so after these proposals,” he said.

“Well, of course, fraternities should be about the brotherhood, and that’s the reason I want to join a fraternity,” Weinstock said. “However, banning all sorority girls from being at the fraternity houses between 10 pm and 3 am will disband the brotherhood a bit, and, more so, wouldn’t create the same atmosphere that draws potential new members to rush.”

Despite rumors, UM System Chief Communications Officer John Fougere confirmed in an email that UM President Tim Wolfe is not involved in decision-making on this issue. The regulations will only apply to MU, not the UM System.

The Office of Greek Life could not be reached for comment. Other members of the Greek community The Maneater reached out to chose not to comment as well.

At the start of fall 2014, MU Police Department and Columbia Police Department worked together to increase patrols through Greektown and East Campus, according to previous Maneater reporting. The two departments also focused on increasing crackdowns on alcohol-related incidents.

“We are concentrating on alcohol as it is often a contributing factor in major crimes (such as rape and sexual assault),” MUPD spokesman Capt. Brian Weimer said in the Sept. 11, 2014, article. “We hope that reducing alcohol related-crimes will also curb the more major crimes that stem off from it.”

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