Greek sanction process allows internal review


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This semester, two members of Gamma Chi Delta went involuntarily inactive after an offensive post online. After an internal review from the sorority, the two women appealed their initial sanction, lost and were officially removed with no possibility of rejoining. Members of the club chose not to provide specifics of the post.

Members of Gamma anonymously sent in a report to the Gamma judicial committee, and the women were sentenced to an internal hearing. The sorority handled the report within their club so as to not publicize the situation, according to senior Maggi Linker, president of Gamma.

“I don’t want to go too far into the situation out of respect for them as well as members of our club. There were members of our club that were, of course, really hurt by the situation, and that’s ultimately why we handled it the way we did,” Linker said.

Based on the sanctions outlined in the sorority’s constitution to fit different situations, the judicial committee decided the situation was severe enough to warrant removal. The women appealed the penalty but lost the appeal.

“I am proud of the way that our club handled it. I think that we handled it the way that we should have, the way everything was outlined in our constitution and the way that fits best with what we value as a club,” Linker said. “I’m proud of that, ultimately, but it was without a doubt the hardest thing that myself as president and any of our judicial committee and all of us have had to be a part of since we’ve been in these roles. It was not taken lightly.”

According to sophomore Vix Hernandez, a member of Gamma, the club removed the women based on the belief that they violated values the sorority upholds.

“It was just a standards thing. We don’t want to be known as disrespectful. We pride ourselves on being respectful towards everybody, and the action that they did, that did not demonstrate Gamma values. They didn’t follow the values that Gammas really pride ourselves in and what it means to be a Gamma,” Hernandez said.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Protocols and Processes

Each club has its own internal process for handling violations or complaints. Their judicial chair or judicial committee lead these processes.

Junior Sam Gustafsson, judicial chair for the Bengal Lancers, handles punishments for both internal and external violations the club faces. An example of an internal violation would be a member continually not fulfilling their role as a sober monitor at parties. An external violation would be any issues with a Lancer and any person outside of the club.

“If there was ever an issue with a Lancer and someone outside the club that was detrimental to the club or Greek life or Trinity as a whole, that would have to come to me almost immediately. I would ask everyone who saw it or was involved. Depending on the severity, I’d go to Greek Council,” Gustafsson said.

The distinction between internal and external violations is unique to Lancer, as each club outlines its processes and sanctions in their individual constitutions.

As part of her role, junior Erin Eckert, Greek Council judicial and risk management chair, handles complaints and cases brought to Greek Council by the clubs. So far in 2019, Greek Council has handled four complaints.

“There are some things that could probably be handled internally, but if the complaint is made to Greek Council, then it becomes our jurisdiction. And also if clubs get a complaint internally but they believe it’s too much for them, they can bring it to us,” Eckert said.

If a club has a tough situation but does not want to bring the complaint to Greek Council, Wills Brown, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) can advise internal judicial processes.

“At the end of the day, any internal judicial decision an organization renders rests solely on their members. However, some ways I may advise them include ensuring they’re following proper protocol, as well as encouraging active discussion and debate regarding sanctioning options,” Brown said.

Occasionally the severity of the violation leads to removal.

“It’s happened in the past where, if a severe enough thing happens, someone might have to leave the club. I know other sororities and fraternities hold that same standard, and that’s happened to I’d say almost every organization. That’s something that we don’t want to be a part of Greek Life. I know there are some stereotypes and stigmas, and we don’t need people who do those kinds of things to be a part of it,” Gustafsson said.

Gustafsson encourages anyone who has concerns with a sorority or fraternity to bring it up to their respective judicial chairs.

“If there are any issues that anyone has, if there’s ever been any issue with a Lancer, contact me. Same goes for all the other clubs on campus,” Gustafsson said.

Brown and Eckert are currently reviewing the internal judicial processes of all FSL clubs.

“The process of internally reviewing is not done every year, [Brown] partially wanted to look at them because he is new and partially to make sure there is a fairly equitable standard among Greek organizations,” Eckert wrote over email in a follow-up interview.

Sexual assault and hazing issues are not handled internally or by the Greek Council. Those cases will go directly to the Title IX Coordinator and Student Involvement, respectively.