Row imposes social ban amid university concerns

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.

Probation · Presidents of fraternities and sororities voted to enact a temporary social probation as they institute new-member education, the Inter-Fraternity and Panhellenic Councils announced Wednesday. – Austin Vogel | Daily Trojan

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.

50 replies
  1. Ras
    Ras says:

    There is a reason why guys join frats – it is a way for them to guarantee their terrible, egomaniacal personalities can still yield friends and the endless nights of drunken sorority girls too drunk and ashamed to protest the morning after the party. Congrats parents of 28th St students – your kids will most likely get an STD by Easter!

    • Gabriel
      Gabriel says:

      If we suppose Ras’ observations are correct, several concerns arise. There may be a relatively greater degree of self and other injurious behavior occurring on the Row than elsewhere on campus. If so, what are the implications? Some would argue that personal choice in how to have “fun” needs to be respected.

      1.The Row culture does have implication for the university as a whole as this news story indicated. LAPD and university security resources are diverted away from protecting everyone when their presence is disproportionally needed on the Row.

      2. A question to consider as USC cracks the ranks of top universities is “is the Row culture at USC in keeping with that at other top universities”? Put another way is it possible the current Row culture will hinder USC’s rise to the top”. The best and the brightest want to have fun, but likely want a lively social Greek scene consistent with the values and personal choices for fun made by those at other top tier universities.

      3. While USC has many clubs and organizations and a beautiful new campus center, other news stories have pointed out the limited programming and use of the campus center for student activities. There needs to be options for students to socialize, eat, relax in the later evening during the week and until the wee hours on weekends.

      Two suggestions:

      1. A careful review of the Row culture and attempt bring it in line with USC’s current stature if that is deemed necessary and desirable.

      2. Establish programming/activities and food/entertainment availability at the campus center to provide an alternative to the Row for week night and weekend socializing on campus for all to enjoy.

      • King Fratty
        King Fratty says:

        Where do you get off? Your critique of Row culture is getting old.

        Someday you may work for me and I will show you how to tie that neck tie just right…

  2. Gabriel
    Gabriel says:

    Hey ’48 and SCmom,

    You two (or one in the same) are most creative and entertaining. Thanks for helping me illustrate my concerns about the Row and its negative impact on our USC.

    To TrojanSig ’48 especially, Fight On!?

  3. Gabriel
    Gabriel says:

    With all due respect SC Mom w/Greek Son…You are starting to sound a lot like a smart(ass) Greek impersonating Church Lady to further snow a bewildered, passive admin the Greeks seem to have over a barrel. Likely lots of laughs and back slapping right now.

    It is highly unlikely a nice Church Lady like you would refer to “second and third tier” houses. That kind of stratification in the eyes of the Lord in unnecessary and a true church lady would not want to make someone feel bad. Nope, that is more Row talk. If I am wrong, please pray for me. Fun while it lasted guys, but pretty snarky.

    • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
      SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

      I can assure you I am real any suggestion I am not is hurtful. I am aware of the various tiers of the row only through my son. I can’t tell you which fraternity belongs in what tier other than my sons house is considered the top house and has been for generations. With a name like Gabriel I would assume you come from a Christian home. Let me remind you to “Not judge lest you be judged”.

      God Bless!

    • TrojanSig'48
      TrojanSig'48 says:

      Let me tell you a thing or two about who built this University. It wasn’t people like you. It was fraternity men like John ’55 and yes, yours truly. Take your Occupy movement to a state funded school and let us do things here the Trojan way. I also think SC Mom with a Greek Son is right on the money. I have a strong inclination that her son joined the same great fraternity that I did. We don’t have to apologize for success.

      In hoc signo vinces

        • Gabriel
          Gabriel says:

          Hey Disgusted,

          These 2 guys posting are well into their 80’s. Their “war stories” drinking at USC 60+ years ago give a perspective on how their children brought University of Spoiled Children infami to USC, probably from listening to “glory days” stories from parents like this. Well, the herd is thinning, but now we seem to have a current generation of progeny at USC with the same mentality, just morphed to the current “betches” and bro iteration.

          The Row is living in a displaced era that ended long ago and does not fit a surging upwardly ranked top 25 university–quite an anachronism!

          Maybe a values and intellect reassignment program might help (sarcasm–in case someone is not aware of gender reassignment programs).

          • TrojanSig'48
            TrojanSig'48 says:

            I see you took out your Thesaurus and found a collection of fancy pants words to weave into your latest scribe. I may be 80 something, but I will still kick your dandy butt. You name the place and time. I have had just about enough of you.

      • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
        SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

        I am going to pray that Gabriel finds the truth as he matures and gains respect for those that came before and provided all that is plenty upon this earth.

        God Bless!

      • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
        SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

        Mr. ’48,
        I want you to know the following letter has been emailed and faxed to various leaders and administrators at USC. I am deeply sorry for the rudeness and disrespect “Gabriel” has shown to you and other special members of the USC community. Thank you for your service to USC and our Nation. God Bless!

        Daily Trojan Staff and USC Administrators:

        I think you need to be made aware of the malicious poster to your Daily Trojan website. He goes by the name “Gabriel”. However, I don’t believe that is his real name. He has offended not only me and my son (a current student and member of the Greek community) but generations of USC alumni, war veterans and many potential donors to the University. Much like the man who made the offensive video for which our President blames for much of the unrest in the Middle East, this “Gabriel” has caused irreparable harm to USC through his postings to your website. I respectfully request you remove all his postings from your site before additional persons see them and become further offended. I don’t know if it is possible but likely he should be banned from future postings to your site. I believe in free speech and the unique responsibility our forefathers placed upon us that said speech elevates the human condition for the benefit all. “Gabriel’s” speech does nothing to elevate but only hurt others.

        I want thank you in advance for your prompt action in this matter. I have also forward this letter to Mr Nikias and Beth Saul both of whom I am familiar with and speak with regularly. I am sure they will agree upon further review that what I am requesting is not only reasonable but necessary to protect the image of USC on the internet.

        Thank you and God Bless!

        Concerned Parent

        • BS from GL
          BS from GL says:

          SC Mom,

          We got your latest letter. Many of us are out of town for the next few weeks at the WCGL conference in Phoenix, so it may be a while before I can issue a formal response. Rest assured we will investigate. Offensive and/or hurtful comments have no place in the respectful and tolerant community we are building here at USC. Thanks again for all you do.

          BS from GL

        • Gabriel
          Gabriel says:

          Dear SC Mom,

          I most certainly apologize to you and ’48 for assuming from your postings you were not real. An 80 year old man posting he wants to kick someone’s butt and the postings you have provided are well beyond the norm. My posts, part in jest, are written specifically to protect the image of USC as a rapidly rising university with a clearly articulated vision and plan well on its way to being a top university. A dialogue seems to be needed regarding the activities and role of USC Greek life in furthering this vision, not impeding it. Events of late on the Row seem to be rekindling and justifying the damaging USC image as a “party school”. Hopefully, the dialogue will move from playful banter to university-wide discussion at all levels.

          • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
            SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:


            I most certainly accept your sincere apology. I am hopeful that my contacting the University does not lead back to you getting in serious trouble. They have already informed me they have identified your user ip (whatever that is). If so, I apologize for what may happen to you.

            My father was a severely wounded Korean War Vet and I have the utmost respect for the men and women that protect us daily from the those that wish to harm us. Those people deserve the respect of all of us for what they have done to keep American free. The World has unfortunately become a dangerous place for Americans and those of us that practice our faith openly. It is sad but true that words now can invoke violence. Mocking someone’s faith publicly is also a form of violence for which we all must resist.

            I hope that you grow and mature into a forthright man of honor and integrity. I hope that someday you might meet my son so he might minister to you the faith for which he so strongly believes.

            God Bless!

          • Gabriel
            Gabriel says:

            Dear SCMom,

            I am not sure how you see what I wrote as a reflection upon Korean War Veterans. Several posters glorified excessive drinking. I commented upon the negative impact at this point in history of excessive drinking and often associated behaviors on USC students and the university as a whole. USC is undergoing much rapid change in academic stature. What was acceptable, if not desirable, student behavior at one point in history, may no longer be given the direction of USC’s growth, current laws and student health concerns. I expect the majority of alumni, donors and students support and encourage the increasing stature of USC and its student body.

  4. Gabriel
    Gabriel says:

    Reading all these comments, it seems time to “proudly” ban together and sing a chorus of University of Spoiled Children with Nikias conducting.

    I think there is a lot more to USC than the out of control Greek social behavior, but that is what overshadow all campus social life. We seem to be heading in the wrong direction. It is no wonder many outside USC don’t recognize us as the accomplished university we claim to be.

  5. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    To 9-0 Lover: Let me clarify what I meant about the fake ID’s at the 9-0:

    I’m not so sure that they are “fake”, but they are not legit. Let me explain. I know of many kids (I say “kids” because they are still TEENAGERS of 18 and 19 years of age) who have out of state ID’s with their real name and picture, and then a bogus address, etc. They work under the scanning light, etc. Even though many of these kids do not even remotely look 21 or 22, they get in because their fake ID’s pass. Seriously, the 9-0 staff MUST know about this! Come on!

    So to all of you oblivious parents out there of new freshmen and of sophomores (esp if they are in the greek system), take a peek into your kids wallet and I betcha you will find a very impressive looking fake with your kids name and picture!

  6. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    I, too, am an oldie but goody (I’m in my early 50’s!!)…What I want to ask is “where have all the beer kegs gone”?. In my day socials revolved around a beer keg and a sticky floor of a rec room. It was pretty hard to get alcohol poisoning from drinking keg beer. Today, kids drink the hard stuff with the only goal of getting wasted. The quicker the better. Sorority girls do it and the fraternity men provide much of the booze. Also, seems everyone on that row has a fake ID and the 9-0 is mindfully oblivious. Someone is going to die on that row from alcohol misuse. SCARY SCARY SCARY. USC’s problem seems to be worse than the regular college trends. Every event must include heavy drinking. Why not have some sober fun events?? Maybe you will even remember who you talked to! Good Luck USC. Until the row cleans up it’s act and image, USC will continue to maintain the image of being less interested in academics and more interested in money and socializing.

    • 9-0 Lover
      9-0 Lover says:

      @ Carolyn:
      I happen to know for a fact that the USC administration loves the 9-0 and how well the places is professionally managed. Anyone who thinks people with fake ids get into 9-0 is simply wrong. Door staff have some of the most sophisticated id checking equipment on the market. You can try but you aren’t getting through that door without a valid id!

  7. SC Mom w/ Greek Son
    SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

    Somebody needs to stand up fraternity men like my son who is a gentleman and not part of these row shenanigans. My son is a sophomore and joined the top fraternity at USC last year. The year prior, my son graduated from the best Christian school in Orange County and many of his friends joined the same fraternity who I will not name but I am certain everyone knows. Coming from a Christian school, he was both unaccustomed and frankly shocked by the behavior of the girls he has met from the apparent top sororities at USC. From what he has told me, not one of these girls he has met in the last year is the slightest bit a lady. These girls openly ask for alcohol or drugs and sometimes bring drugs to the fraternity members for their mutual use. Sex is apparently as causal as handshake for most of these girls. I am ashamed for these girls and their sororities who apparently support this behavior. I have had several conversations with Greek Affairs staff at USC regarding my son’s concerns and apparently action is going start taking place in the near future. Nevertheless, my son and I pray for all members of fraternities and sororities at USC and we hope they find the truth in “His Word” and turn away from this sinful behavior!

    • Disgusted
      Disgusted says:

      Takes 2 to tango. The “men” in the fraternities are just as bad as the sorority girls, if not worse. Tell me, are the frat guys turning down the drugs and sex that the girls are supposedly offering?!? I think not — give me a break. The whole scene on The Row is a disgrace to USC, and both the boys and girls are to blame. Wake up SC Mom!

      • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
        SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

        Sir or Madam:
        Yes, I agree it takes two to tango. However, my son and his close friends in his fraternity are not doing drugs and having sex with random hussie sorority girls. Not everyone on the row is without morals and character as you imply. My son knows the Bible cover to cover and can repeat any section you want to hear. Not only does he know the holy scripture word for word but he knows the meaning of every verse. We talk often and he tells me of the difficulty in finding a woman of character and true morals in any of the top sororities at USC.

        Throughout history men have often did and said terrible things in the interest of attracting sinful women. This is a fact of life and women of this generation often use their sexuality to get things from men as did Eve temp Adam in the Garden. These sorority girls have unfortunately turned their souls over to the master of darkness and sin by doing this. We all must pray that they may find the “Light of Lord” somewhere within their wretched sinful lives and turn away from their sorority masters to find the eternal love that “He” gives upon all that believe!

        • Student
          Student says:

          Hi, as a current student I understand your concern. I would like to say as a Freshman involved in greek I have met both ladies and guys who maintain their religious and moral values. I’ve been to other colleges such as SDSU, UCSB, Berkeley, Boulder, and Chapman. They’re all the same. There are always going to be heavy drinkers, drug users, and promiscuous girls.

          Any college campus is going to have these girls and guys you have described. I am not religious myself, but one of my best friends is. She chose to go to a deeply religious school where she can surround herself by people of similar values.

          College is nothing like high school. Don’t expect your son to be around the same people as he was in high school.

          • SC Mom w/ Greek Son
            SC Mom w/ Greek Son says:

            Thank you for kind words. I can only hope there are many more sincere young men like yourself on the row. I’m guessing you are not in son’s fraternity. If you were, you would likely know him from my descriptions. This fall, my son started a prayer group in his fraternity and apparently the meetings are well attended by others members of his fraternity. He hopes to open up the meetings to other Greeks like yourself in the middle and lower tier fraternities in near future.

            God Bless!

  8. Gabriel
    Gabriel says:

    USC will be forever viewed as a shallow, brash party school if the “Row loser culture” of excessive alcohol/drug use and promiscuity continues unabated. Hey, if that is what you want for yourself, relocate to a Skid Row.

    What surprises me is that students of substance (as opposed to substance abuse) are not raising their voices to create a more substantial atmosphere at USC. More surprising is the seeming weak will of the administration. Anybody home there?

    • Pike #1
      Pike #1 says:

      If you are attempting some underhanded slap to Pike it isn’t working. We have a house. It’s in the process of getting permits right now and it’s gonna be the sickest house on the row. Way sicker than TKE or Phi Delt and millions more are being dropped by our alumni than those other two combined. Will let you come by and collect our empty bottles and pick thru the trash when it’s done.

      • Holly2Valley
        Holly2Valley says:

        Um? I don’t think so. Pike is middle tier at best and dropping every day. truth:

        Top Tier:
        Sig Chi, Lambda, Phi Psi

        Upper Middle:
        SAE, TKE, AEPi

        the rest don’t matter… that means you

    • TrojanSig'48
      TrojanSig'48 says:

      Sounds like hippy dippy talk to me. Let me tell you something. Keep your voices down and get to work. Stop whining about our great fraternities and start cutting your hair and taking a bath. Hell, we drank in my day, but we deserved it. Most of us had just come back from the war. Boys like Clark Farland never came back, but you don’t hear me asking for USC to do something about it. Grow up Gabriel.

    • Disgusted
      Disgusted says:

      Totally agree –couldn’t have said it better. If USC wants to continue to raise its reputation in the U.S. and internationally, it needs to address The Row problem once and for all.

  9. SC Alum
    SC Alum says:

    Quite frankly, the locals need to get over it. As a recently graduated student, I can firmly say that our “neighbors” are perhaps USC’s biggest detriment towards attracting the best and the brightest. They snatch up the hundreds of jobs USC offers, but still seem more than happy to rape, rob, mug, and stab students as they see fit. Newsflash: when you play a double standard like that, your opinions count for nothing. USC students owe the community nothing. If anything, the “community” owes USC for not pushing harder to gentrify South Central all the way to the Staples Center. Quit while you guys are ahead.

  10. Grace
    Grace says:

    Not only am I a local and have been living in this area since the age of 10 but I am also a student at USC and i can tell YOU george, that i have witnessed first hand how much MY community and “student life” has changed. Its not about extortion. Oh and also, both my parents have been working for USC for TWENTY YEARS! I think I qualify to be tired of you non-locals! Thank you.

    • Row Bro
      Row Bro says:

      @ Grace,
      I’m with George, you people with all your complaints about the row are blood sucking liars. No families live adjacent to the row except for that stupid building USC built for staff on 30th behind Kappa Sig. That building was built long after the row was here and any SC staff that live there knew what they were getting into. All other people in surrounding the row are students. You live either further north of the row or west of Hoover. Your problem isn’t Greeks but Hipster GDIs who have taken over that area. We Greeks have nothing to do with the Hipster GDIs and they are there own problem. Lastly, stay the “F” out of our trash!

    • GDI H8TER
      GDI H8TER says:

      Sounds like these guys have proven you a liar. What is clear to me is that you don’t live near the Row. Neither the Row nor the Greek system is not your real problem. You are live in another area likely surrounded by SC students away from the Row. Shutting the Row down will do nothing for you or your imaginary family. Try latching on to some other issue to benefit your miserable existence living among the scourge of worthless GDIs.

  11. John '55
    John '55 says:

    I’m one of those fraternity men from the golden age of the Row and fraternities at SC. We drank and made merry often and rarely had any problems with anyone. The problem with these kids today is no one has instructed them how to drink. Your mealy mouthed baby-boomer parents have ruined this country and your generation. We had the wisdom of a lot of Korean War vets and even a few WWII guys on the GI bill who knew how drink. Often an older Vet would sit the pledges down with bottle of Whiskey or Gin and drink shot for shot until it was gone. No one threw-up, passed out or needed an ambulance and trip to see a doctor at a local hospital. You kids should be embarrassed by your lack of skill in drinking. I think it would be to everyone’s benefit to hold classes or some sort of instruction on proper drinking skills. If you put the word out to older alumni of my generation, you might get a few willing to help teach classes.


    • TrojanSig'48
      TrojanSig'48 says:

      Much thanks to John ’55 for reminding me of the days of old. As an engineer, we had a small house behind the main fraternity. There was no alcohol allowed back then in the fraternity house, but a few of us including Bill Shepard, who made a name for himself with apartments in El Paso, and John Friedlander, who worked for Douglas near El Segundo before his untimely pass, enjoyed a drink or two. My point is holding your liquor takes work. Commitment. I wouldn’t dream of getting taken to the hospital over a sour stomach. If you threw it up you threw it up and then you started again the next day. Character would solve 90% of the issues we are seeing now. Not policy.

  12. Greek
    Greek says:

    To anyone living by the row, the row existed long before other residents. This has been going on for decades. Don’t complain when you move into a collegiate area and tell college kids to quiet it down.

    It sucks that some individuals were responsible for ruining these couple of weeks for the rest of the community but the row will rally back as it always has.

  13. Sorority Alumae
    Sorority Alumae says:

    While this is an excellent first step toward balancing school and social, as a Theta Alumnae, I can share that much more needs to happen. Sadly, reality shows like Jersey Shore have “normalized” outrageous behavior including drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity and a wanton lack of respect for others. We need the pendulum to swing back a little…. and remind ourselves that fraternity and sororities were not originally organized to be about partying, outlandish behavior and trashing frat houses. For example, my father, an SAE for 65 years who passed away this year, was the consummate fraternity man–charitable, kind, respectful of women, intelligent, honest, generous and a True Gentleman with a jest for live. He was truly heart-broken that frats had become places to get high, black out, hook up and be anything but a gentleman and was actually very proud that his grandson, a water polo player at USC, didn’t pledge a fraternity. That’s really sad to me…

  14. Grace
    Grace says:

    It’s about time you guys! I think that this ban should last forever and move ALL future social events to campus from now on. Students don’t realize (fail to acknowledge) that families still reside near and around the row not just college party animals. The partying and the noise is way out of control and quiet frankly I’ve had enough. I am more concerned about the respect these kids owe our neighborhood! The only time it’s ever quiet around here is during parent week (i wonder why!) but as soon as the parents take off and leave their credit cards it’s all back to wild partying. USC, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!! Acknowledge that families still live in this area and that we are owed some respect. we have sacrificed our privacy and our peace as USC continues to build new facilities (and fails to provide more parking), our streets are congested and the noise keeps getting louder (not just at night). I’d like to see the University remind the students to be humble, respectful and courteous. In addition, I feel that parents should be sent a letter or email and should be aware of what is happening and what their kids are doing. Maybe parents need to have a talk with their kids. if you think parent involvement is too much because “you’re an adult”…. Then act like one!
    I understand this is college and it’s your time for sex and drugs but I think it’s now way out of control.
    USC, remember the little people, we’re still here.

      • Afrocentricity
        Afrocentricity says:

        The caterpiller is small before he blooms into the butterfly. The bumblebee is small before he takes flight into blue sky. The lion cub is small before he lets forth with his mighty roar. But George you are small for evermore. Rise up I say! small people — here and wide. Be heard, agitate, educate, organize! Oppression seems large in the here and now. But Obama will provide what we need without a bow.

        Question Authority

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