After a rise in emergency medical transports, physical conflicts and loud noise at parties on The Row, the fraternity and sorority presidents on the Inter-Fraternity and Panhellenic Councils voted unanimously to enact a three-week social probation for its chapters, according to IFC President Michael Madden. The ban, effective immediately, is scheduled to end Oct. 7.
During the probation, the organizations are planning to create new-member programming that focuses on preventing sexual assault, alcohol and physical altercations, Madden said.
“We are looking to partner up with other on-campus organizations and collaborate with them to educate our members,” Madden said.
In a letter to IFC and Panhellenic members, Madden and Panhellenic Council President Megan Lambert wrote that the probation was self-imposed to avoid further sanctions from the university, which expressed concern about recent incidents.
“The administration is considering a zero-tolerance policy regarding our weeknight social events moving forward,” the letter said. “In effort to avoid this outcome, the Greek leadership created proactive measures to address these issues.”
Beth Saul, assistant dean for student affairs and director for fraternity and sorority leadership development and parent programs, said she is hopeful that the probation is effective and the administration does not have to seek further recourse.
“We hope this period will better educate our members about their social responsibility and prevent any future incidents,” Saul wrote in an email.
Saul did not comment about what other actions the university might take should the probation not be successful.
With a large freshman class, Dept. of Public Safety Captain David Carlisle said there has been more activity on The Row this semester.
“This year, there seems to be greater activity on The Row, so we are spending a lot more time up there,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle said there have also been more medical transports to hospitals this year. DPS has recorded more than 20 hospital transports this year compared to 14 at the same point last year, Carlisle said.
The self-imposed ban prohibits all social events except those registered with the university, such as invites, exchanges, philanthropies and registered weekend parties.
“The Presidents voted and agreed to suspend all official social events, both at fraternity houses and at annex houses [half-way houses], for the next three weeks, ending on October 7th,” Madden and Lambert wrote in the letter. “In addition, the presidents voted not to hold off-campus social events, including bar tabs at the 9-0 Bar and Grill.”
Carlisle said that when DPS devotes so many resources to The Row, it distracts from the department’s other security responsibilities.
“DPS would prefer that the leaders of the Greek community police themselves,” Carlisle said. “We would prefer to be reducing theft, reducing robberies and focusing on crime rather than focusing on social events that get out of control on The Row, uninvited guests or underage drinking.”
Both DPS and the Los Angeles Police Department have increased their enforcement of The Row, Madden said.
LAPD’s senior lead officer for the USC area did not respond to a call for comment.
Madden said he is confident that the probation will achieve its goals.
“We are very hopeful and optimistic that we are going to get through this and that the programming is going to be successful,” he said.