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University sororities up safety efforts

Sororities implemented a Social Event and Risk Management policy this fall.

In efforts to keep pace with other greek organizations, University of Minnesota sororities are implementing a new policy to increase safety this fall.

The University’s Panhellenic Council, the campus sorority governing body, will now require sororities to register all official social events at the local and national levels, which greek leaders say they hope will hold both sororities and fraternities more accountable.

The new Social Event and Risk Management policy will sanction sororities for incidents like noise and alcohol violations. In addition, chapters will still be held to national

“If there are issues in the future, it gives us a way to hold chapters accountable,” said Panhellenic Council President Julia Gross. “It’s setting us up for success in the future.”

Gross said that previously, each sorority was only accountable for the safety and disciplinary policies of its national headquarters, which varied for
each chapter.

But now, each sorority chapter at the University will need to get approval for its events from the Panhellenic Council.

This is the first policy of its kind for University sororities, Gross said, and it was inspired by similar policies at University fraternities and other Big
Ten schools.

University fraternities are already required to register official fraternity events, and since 2012, they’ve had the self-policing system Arkeo.

Matt Levine, program director for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said he hopes the policy will also help fraternities become safer.

“It’s putting a focus on that our sororities are providing a safe environment, too, which will then bleed into the fraternities and help us manage their risk as well,” he said.

Sorority presidents developed the policy last spring and passed it in a sorority-wide vote last April, Gross said.

“It’ll ensure we’re providing social environments that are safe and fun for our members and that we’re following our national policy,” Gross said.

Kappa Kappa Gamma President Delaney Reger said she thinks the safety initiative is a positive step for University greek life.

“It just kind of helps take the pressure off of individual sororities,” she said. “It helps me know that I have a backing from [the Panhellenic Council] and they’re going to
double-check me as well.”

Reger said she thinks individual sorority members will be crucial to making sure the policy
is effective.

“They’ll just make sure they’re respecting other chapters’ policies as well as ours,” she said. “They are the ones who carry it out, and I trust them.”

Levine said sororities are still adapting to the policy but are supportive of the change.

“It takes time with a new policy, so we’re still very much educating people how to use it,” he said.

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