Changes Made to Greek Membership Intake at TSU
Hazing has become a real threat at colleges and universities across the nation. Headlines broadcasting the result of such a dangerous trend have unfortunately become commonplace. While not only hazardous and potentially fatal, hazing is also a liability for the schools themselves.
Hazing is described to be “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.
In 2017, four undergraduate pledges died in relation to their Greek processes to join a fraternity. 19-year-old Timothy Piazza died on Feb. 4 while pledging Beta Theta Pi at Pennsylvania State University. Maxwell Gruver, 18, passed away on Sept. 14, while pledging Phi Delta Theta at Louisiana State University. While pledging Pi Kappa Phi at Florida State University, Andrew Coffey, 20, died on Nov. 3. Only ten days later, 20-year-old Matthew Ellis died on Nov. 13, while pledging Phi Kappa Psi at Texas State University.
These incidents have prompted the universities in question and several others to re-evaluate their current practices when it comes to Greek activities. Multiple campuses have called for bans on social events where alcohol is involved, tighter regulations, and have even gone as far as suspensions for Greek activities or entire Greek letter organizations.
To prevent such a tragedy from being recreated on the campus of Tennessee State University, the administration has started to take action to make a stronger effort to regulate the process for Greek intake.
The first of these changes came on, On Nov. 28. The Tennessee State University Office of Student Affairs held a mandatory membership intake meeting in preparation for the Spring Semester. The meeting was required for non-members to be even become eligible to become a Greek aspirant during the 2017-2018 school year.
During the meeting, the definition of hazing was discussed as well as what qualifies as hazing. The administration also made sure to disclose the proper protocol to alert of any possible hazing activity.
Another major change has been the change in the official intake window. President Glover has asked for all new initiates to be presented before Feb. 26.
“President Glover has made the statement on numerous accounts that there has been many allegations of “hazing” going on for the last couple of years. Claims to have been receiving phone calls from parents and more. So, as the president of the university, she’s [taken] matters into her own hands and has put restrictions on the intake timing for the university,” according to Derrick Greene Jr., President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Current Greek members do not look favorably on the changes, fearing that they will interfere with national processes and that the short window of time will not allow for adequate time to prepare.