The Row placed on probation once again

Vice President of Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson placed The Row on social probation Thursday, prohibiting informal gatherings at fraternities on Tuesday and Thursday nights for the rest of the spring semester because of the recent negative events within the Greek community.

Parties at fraternity houses will only be allowed Fridays and Saturdays, according to Jackson. These events must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development.

“If houses are found in violation of these instructions, they will be placed on immediate suspension pending a group judicial hearing,” Jackson wrote in an email.

Jackson met with more than 150 leaders from USC fraternities and sororities Thursday to discuss the state of The Row, which has been plagued by behavioral problems and public incidents this year.

“We discussed the collective responsibility chapters have for their members and that the Greek Councils have for their chapters,” Jackson wrote.

This is the second time this year The Row has been placed on social probation.

The Row was shut down Aug. 30, after 16 Interfraternity Council chapters were cited for unauthorized parties. Eight students were taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning during what is often referred to by students as “Black Monday.”

More recently, a misogynistic email sent on the Kappa Sigma fraternity listserv spread virally around campus and beyond, and graphic photos of a suspended member of Kappa Sigma appearing to have sex on the rooftop of Waite Phillips Hall made national news.

Pat Lauer, president of IFC, said the leaders of USC fraternities and sororities understand how serious the situation is, and now they need to pass that message on to all of the Greek members.

“Because of everything that’s happened, we need to get our act together completely and identify our weak points and improve upon them,” Lauer said. “It’s up to the leaders to help change the culture of the Greek community that has taken a negative turn.”

At Thursday’s meeting, Jackson also established a task force composed of leaders of the various Greek councils and university staff from the USC Center for Women and Men and MenCare.

Denzil Suite, associate vice president for Student Affairs, will be heading the task force, which will address issues including risk management, hazing, sexual assault, healthy relationships, alcohol and substance abuse, knowledge of USC policies, and chapter fire, health and safety programs.

“I told students that we are depending on them to step up as leaders of their organizations, that [Student Affairs] will provide leadership, guidance and support, and that we want USC to have the strongest possible Greek community,” Jackson wrote.

Lauer said the Greek community needs to make sure the negative attention from these actions does not conceal the positive things the Greek community brings to the university.

“We’re kind of on thin ice right now, and we need to take it upon ourselves to confront these challenges we are faced with,” Lauer said.

Jackson pointed out that USC’s Greek community has the highest GPA of any school west of the Mississippi and has received many national awards for service and leadership.

“The hard work students devote to community service, philanthropic activity and participation in providing leadership for the broader USC student community is severely tarnished when members’ actions are arrogant, selfish, show a lack of respect for others, and threaten women in our community,” Jackson wrote.

It is up to the members of the Greek community to change this negative perception, according to Lauer.

“We owe it to ourselves to fix this image,” Lauer said.

24 replies
  1. Soooo
    Soooo says:

    So wait the Greeks are still allowed parties Fridays and saturdays ? What kind of probation is that ?

  2. USC drinker
    USC drinker says:

    I appreciate the water the AGO boys give me on Thursday nights. I could not drink as much without reliable bottle of H20

  3. Frat Star
    Frat Star says:

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t just about the emails or the roof sex….there were numerous less widely known incidents that lead to this….it’s unfortunate but hopefully this will all just blow over before nxt year.

  4. AGO Alumni Parent
    AGO Alumni Parent says:

    May I point out that there IS one upstanding fraternity on the row at USC: AGO. No one is perfect, but these young men really do embody what frats started out to be. It’s interesting to note how many of their non-member friends, both men and women, like to hang out at the AGO house. There’s a good reason for that. No one at AGO is doing anything harmful or illegal, but they’re still managing to have more fun and build just as many friendships as guys at other frats. These guys seem to understand that the word fraternity is not synonymous with “all out party down 24/7 reckless behavior”.

    • Fraternity member
      Fraternity member says:

      There is also a reason why most women on the row feel uncomfortable at AGO where guys have regularly shoved religion down their throats rather than having a decent conversation. It’s no coincidence that most women are bored after an hour at exchanges whereas they don’t want to leave when they’re with other real frats.

  5. Chris
    Chris says:

    This article should mention that “informal gatherings on Tuesdays and Thursdays” with alcohol or after 10 pm were always prohibited under SCampus. The only difference from last week is that Dr. Jackson has informed greek leaders that these portions of SCampus will now be strictly enforced.

    Registered social events that comply with SCampus (ie formals, exchanges, registered parties) are still allowed, so this isn’t really even social probation…

    • Informed
      Informed says:

      That would require the writer to actually do research on what she is reporting…sounds tough though so why not just base you article of gossip websites instead?

  6. gia
    gia says:

    I’m in a multi-cultural Greek org and although we really don’t have any involvement with what goes on at “the row” I’m still sad at the negative light this brings to the entire Greek system. To be honest, I agree it isn’t the entire IFC/PHC that should be punished for the actions of a few individuals. But the punishment at least for the student who wrote the email should be harsher. As for the guy having sex, it’s true, could have been anyone.

    I also think the school put “the row” on probation in order to provide a scapegoat and make it look like something is being done about the issue. But what is probation going to do? The mentality of Greeks doesn’t actually change.

    I hope this task force isn’t about just implementing new rules and more of that alcohol/hazing edu crap. That doesn’t do anything. Programming needs to be implemented that brings to light the consequences of people’s actions. In addition, the university needs to start supporting and highlighting the positive actions of Greeks.

  7. Theta Alum
    Theta Alum says:

    Since my father was an WWII vet and then SAE in the 50’s, and I was a Theta in the 80’s who also worked for the Eminent Archon (CEO) at the SAE Levere Memorial Temple in Evanston, IL, I have watched the continuous decline of the male side of the Greek system on almost every campus. Just walk down any Greek area and you can instantly see which houses are the frats and which are the sororities. Young men have lost sight of why fraternities were founded just after the Civil War–it was about brotherhood, honor, civility, chivalry, honesty and kindness–in other words, being a true gentleman. Sadly, these characteristics are not the focus of fraternities. It’s all about drunken parties, hazing, drugs, girls and trashing one’s own home. Our son is a scholarship athlete at USC and thankfully, recognized all the negativity around fraternities and despite being a triple legacy, chose not to pledge. And I’m not sure frats can or should be saved because it would take such an enormous mental shift.. Every young man today needs to read “UNBROKEN” by Laura Hillibrand about former USC alum and Kapp Sig fraternity member Louis Zamperini, Japanese POW who endured weeks on a raft in the ocean, and years under the thumb of a cruel POW camp leader. That man epitomizes what a true man is about. I am sure he, alive at 93, is horrified about what his fraternity has become considering the sacrifices he and his generation made. To all fraternity boys–wake up, grow up and start acting like men.

  8. anon
    anon says:

    Frat boys need permission from the school just to throw a party, and they still can’t figure out why 75% of the school chooses not to go greek.

    Rag on “GDI”‘s all you want – at least we can do whatever the hell we feel like without getting a green light from some school committee first.

  9. ucla sorority girl (alum)
    ucla sorority girl (alum) says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous – the entire Greek system, which is mostly comprised of ethical, intelligent, hard working, fun-loving, philanthropic, and kind young adults should not be made to pay for the mistakes of 2 irresponsible students. THis message is NOT promoting all the good things about the Greek System that you outline in your article – rather than punishing all of them, why not create an opportunity for them to showcase all the good that they do. Very disappointed in this decision.

    • bob
      bob says:

      “mostly comprised of ethical, intelligent, hard working, fun-loving, philanthropic…” <– lol

    • greektrojan
      greektrojan says:

      there’s a reason you were at UCLA and not USC. makes a lot of sense, in fact.

      the Greek system has those hard working, fun-loving folks but also has a strong majority of the opposite. i don’t know what facade you lived in at your sorority, but let’s face it: it exists, so stop trying to be ignorant to the reality. the Row has had this coming for some time now, and it’s only been a matter of time really.

    • Sarah
      Sarah says:

      This seems to be a situation where a few bad apples spoil the bunch. As a USC alumna who was in a sorority, I am appalled by the actions of some of these select few men and women. It does not reflect well on fraternities and sororities in general, not just the USC greek community.

      Also, it’s a community, not a system. Sometimes the whole group needs to be punished for the actions of a few. Perhaps this will be an object lesson and teach other members of the greek community to think twice before acting, because their actions could have repercussions for others.

  10. j
    j says:

    i’m not in the greek system but I think the probation is kind of stupid if it’s because of the pictures. It could have been anybody up there bangin on the roof, it just happened to be a guy in kappa sig. It’s not like he speaks for the whole greek system.
    It sounds like the administration is pissed about all of the recent happenings and just needs somebody to blame.

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