U. of Virginia Lifts Greek Ban, Adopts New Safety Agreement

January 7, 2015

The University of Virginia has lifted the ban on Greek social activities that was imposed last semester after an article in Rolling Stone detailed an alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity. The article's accuracy has since been questioned, but the university chose to keep the ban in place while it worked with Greek leadership councils to create new safety policies. The university adopted a new fraternal organization agreement on Tuesday, authorizing safety practices submitted by the Greek councils. Reflecting the concerns of the university's Board of Visitors, the precautions largely focus on alcohol consumption.

A minimum of three fraternity brothers must be "sober and lucid" at each social function, with at least one member present wherever alcohol is being distributed and at stairways leading to bedrooms. Fraternities must provide one additional sober member for every 30 members of the chapter. The new agreement allows for beer to be served unopened in its original can, but wine must be poured by one of the sober monitors. At parties where the number of guests exceeds the number of members present (what are called "Tier I events"), hard liquor cannot be served unless the fraternity hires a licensed bartender. Bottled water and food must be provided. Sororities, too, enacted new safety practices, including adopting an "Inter-Sorority Council Women On Call" program, where chapter leaders sign up in shifts to be the lead contact person for members in "unsafe situations."

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