Some suspended organizations' members unaware their chapters are even suspended
Student organizations pay for members' off-campus actions with suspension.
Oct. 25, 2020
MU announced Sept. 15 that seven fraternities and three sororities were temporarily suspended. A couple are already unsuspended and some members didn’t know they were suspended at all.
An anonymous member of Greek life said she rushed her sorority after primary recruitment week, which is when members of Greek life chose their respective chapters. But she wasn’t told she was in a suspended organization.
“I honestly didn’t know my sorority was suspended until it was lifted,” the Greek life member member said.
Suspended organizations aren’t allowed access to on-campus resources and can’t hold or participate in any on-campus events. There are varying levels of suspension depending on the organization’s infractions.
“A couple of my friends are [Delta Delta Delta] and [Gamma Phi Beta] and … they actually knew that they were suspended,” Greek life member said. “But they were allowed to have chapter meetings, they were allowed to have their initiation, they just have to wait a month until they’re off suspension.”
The Greek life member said the suspensions of these sororities were due to certain members posting that they had gone out to bars or clubs and not for violations of guidelines at their houses.
Liz McCune, a spokeswoman for the university, said via email,”Only the student organization, not the individual members, is punished unless there is information that shows an individual member potentially violated the Student Code of Conduct.”
The university has not publicly identified which organizations were suspended and those whose suspensions have been lifted. Greek life member said she feels an added pressure not to violate any rules and get her sorority suspended again.
In addition to the suspended student organizations, a Sept. 15 email that was sent out campus-wide by Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said that MU had expelled two students and suspended three.
The email said these individuals took “willful and knowing actions that threatened the safety of our campus and community.”
Stackman was asked in a Zoom press conference Sept. 15 if the students’ “willful and knowing actions” served as euphemisms for “COVID parties”, a trend where partygoers intentionally gather after at least one person tests positive for COVID-19. COVID parties have caused chaos at the University of Alabama, where students held these parties.
“If I give out too much information surrounding the current circumstances surrounding expulsions, the students could be identified and we can’t do that based on federal law,” Stackman said. “But it is something that was extremely significant, this is not a regular action that we take.”
The university has said that students found to be in violation of COVID-19 guidelines will be punished according to how their infraction ranks via the Student Accountability & Support’s conduct process.
“We told everyone at the beginning of the semester that we would be holding students accountable,” Stackman said. “We are holding students accountable.”
Edited by Joy Mazur | firstname.lastname@example.org