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University of Northern Colorado puts Greek life on hold

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Posted at 3:18 PM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 17:18:54-05

DENVER (AP) — The University of Northern Colorado is barring fraternities and sororities from participating in recruitment, initiation, parties and formals this semester after reports of sexual misconduct, drug use and underage drinking.

The temporary halt to Greek activities at UNC will allow each fraternity and sorority chapter to create a detailed safety and success plan that will be presented to the university, The Denver Post reported.

“The action we took is really intended as a proactive measure to make sure there aren’t more serious consequences that come down later for chapters violating student code of conduct,” university spokesman Nate Haas said.

The university is asking fraternities and sororities to summarize their policies involving drugs, drinking, hazing, wellness and risk management, and to write out their chapters’ core values, scholarship plans, service hours and a list of several three-year goals.

Fraternity and sorority members also must identify what they think are current problems within their chapters and what they would do to fix them.

“I think this could be a chance to really show the university and people outside the university what good our chapters and our councils actually do,” said Logan Reneau, UNC’s Interfraternity Council president. “Greek life, nationally, gets a bad rap when something bad happens — something like this. It gets spotlighted everywhere. I hope this really does spotlight the good we all do for ourselves, for our organization and the community.”

But some have criticized the restrictions, saying they single out fraternity and sorority members and violate the First Amendment.

“The members of UNC’s fraternities have the freedom to associate with their fellow students — a right that UNC may not vacate following allegations of misconduct,” said Zach Greenberg with the nonprofit group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Fraternity and sorority members will be required to present their plans to UNC campus administrators at the end of the semester.