USC publishes IFC Working Group final report

The Working Group report includes the implementation of a new Fraternity & Sorority Strategic Leadership Committee. (Daily Trojan file photo)

USC’s Office of the Provost released a communitywide statement via email Friday morning in its latest response to the disaffiliation of several fraternities from the University’s Interfraternity Council. The statement addressed recent disaffiliations, announced the completion of the final report from the Working Group on IFC Culture, Prevention and Accountability and promoted a FAQ page for community members to read if needed. 

USC once again — the first time being in an Instagram post on Aug. 12 — expressed its disappointment that eight fraternities — Tau Kappa Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Chi, Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Alpha Mu — had “ended their relationship with [the] University” and, later in the message, discouraged students from “attending events at or joining” any of the disaffiliates. 

In the past month, two additional fraternities, Phi Delta Theta and Phi Sigma Kappa, joined the new University Park IFC, which also houses the eight previously disaffiliated groups, while maintaining their affiliation with USC IFC.

Included in the statement was an 11-page report created by the Working Group on IFC Culture, Prevention, and Accountability composed of student representatives from the USC IFC, Panhellenic Council and Undergraduate Student Government, as well as faculty and staff members, on the next steps to create a safer environment for students when engaging with Greek life organizations. 

The group — created last November following allegations of sexual assault and druggings within some fraternities — met “two times per month from November through April, including a half-day Saturday retreat in March.” In January, the group created and released a preliminary action plan to resume activities within fraternities after they had paused in November. 

The report has multiple sections devoted to elevating current standards, enhancing prevention education, improving compliance, next steps and broader campus work. It promises the implementation of the Fraternity & Sorority Strategic Leadership Committee, with the aim of evaluating “the progress and next steps to supporting culture, prevention and accountability.” 

The FSSLC will be comprised of “students from all five fraternity and sorority communities, subject-matter experts, and individuals with authority to assess trends and determine action steps for addressing accountability and well-being goals.” Also touted in the report is the expansion of a committee “to address sexual violence at the university level.” The group will include faculty, students and stakeholders, and will brainstorm a “multi-year action plan” for USC. 

The report also listed a revised list of standards for fraternities wishing to throw parties that were implemented in the Spring 2022 semester, which include wristband distribution for those over 21 and identification of those under 21, security guard placement at entrance and exit points and at stairwells and hallways leading to bedrooms, utilization of license scanners to screen for fake identification, meetings with Department of Public Safety to align expectations and the establishment and implementation of a ratio of security guard to guest. Elevated standards for pre-and post-party planning and debriefing were also laid out in the report. 

The statement’s last paragraph was devoted to announcing a FAQ page “to address common questions we have heard from the community.” The FAQ site contains answers to questions such as “How do fraternities operate at USC?,” “Why did they disaffiliate?,” “How should someone report allegations of misconduct or other prohibited activity at a disaffiliated organization?” and more.

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to the timing of the IFC Working Group’s preliminary action plan incorrectly. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.