After a tough year, Row looks ahead to fall rush

first_imgDespite the Interfraternity Council’s temporary expulsion of the Kappa Sigma fraternity last May and an ongoing investigation of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity for an alleged sexual assault, members of the IFC and the Panhellenic Council look forward to beginning a new year of Greek social life at USC, albeit with some changes in the recruitment process.IFC President Tanner Sandoval said that social life on The Row will be virtually the same as in recent years.Sandoval credits the Greek community with adhering to the new restrictions, which limit the number of parties held from Friday after 3 p.m. through Sunday at 5 p.m. and institute a social draft system to determine which houses are permitted to host parties during the allotted times. “We’ve lowered the amount of Greek transports, and we’ve also improved our relationship with [the Dept. of Public Safety],” Sandoval said.IFC’s judicial board can impose sanctions on houses for a variety of infractions, including DPS write-ups and “dirty rushing,” or holding illegal rush events outside those regularly scheduled. The judicial board’s initial decision to expel Kappa Sigma in May came after such sanctions.As of Aug. 5, however, the IFC Executive Board and the University made the decision to revoke Kappa Sigma’s expulsion. Kappa Sigma will continue operating at USC, but will be suspended from the IFC for the fall 2014 semester and cannot recruit or hold social functions.Some USC students worry that the environment at parties remains threatening.Jasmine Collins, a senior majoring in international relations, said that she and her friends take caution at Greek parties.“I’ve had fun at Greek parties in the past. But my friends and I feel like given how crowded it is, and what the environment is, you have to be careful. Last time [we went], we ended up getting harassed by some guy,” she said.Sexual harassment and assault are continual concerns for the IFC. ATO is facing investigation by USC’s Title IX office for a possible sexual assault allegation. Title IX is a federal regulation that prohibits educational discrimination on the basis of gender.“It’s up to the Title IX office to make the final decision [about ATO]. No one knows the outcome yet or what the severity [of the punishment] will be,” Sandoval said.Allegations of widespread sexual assault across college campuses in the United States have exposed Greek organizations to particular scrutiny.“It’s unfortunate that there’s a kind of stigma [about Greek life]. It’s never [The Row] as a whole. It’s five people who end up causing problems for everyone,” Sandoval said.Though changes in social policy have largely been spearheaded by IFC, Panhellenic is implementing its own changes in recruitment this fall. The council voted to ban door stack, a sorority rush week tradition that dates back to the 1980s, according to Panhellenic President Katherine Grabar.“Door stack is essentially a spirited song that takes place in a sorority’s door, with girls lying in the front door of their house and singing to new members,” Grabar said. “With the removal of door stack there’s more time for active members to talk to new members.”Both IFC and Panhellenic are trying to raise the profile of philanthropy on The Row, with several events scheduled, such as a Greek Philanthropy for Kids.All in all, Sandoval thinks that 2014 is a promising year for Greek students at USC.“As frustrated as a lot of people have been, we are lucky to be doing the things that we do,” Sandoval said.last_img

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