A Texas State fraternity chapter has opted not to return to the Interfraternity Council after reviewing the administration’s tightened rules.
Following the November 2017 death of Phi Kappa Psi pledge Matthew Ellis, President Denise Trauth announced the immediate suspension of Greek organizations on campus. During this suspension, a task force reviewed governing policies for Greek affairs. Ultimately, Greek life was reinstated March 1 with the condition fraternities sign off on the updated guidelines.
All but one fraternity rejoined the IFC: Kappa Sigma Theta-Lambda. The organization chose not to sign the new guidelines. Kappa Sigma President Sam Zablosky said the university’s process was not entirely fair in his opinion.
“There was some ambiguous stuff that rose some concerns for me,” Zablosky said. “I didn’t want to sign something I wasn’t sure about. When I met with the IFC president, (Jake) Negvesky, and told him I had thoughts of not re-signing with the IFC, that didn’t sit well with the school.”
Some fraternity members said they feel that the new rules have too many restrictions. New implementations include a restricted rushing season, an altered pledge process, mandated training before all social events and monthly reports to be submitted to the Greek Affairs Office.
Seth McNeill, IFC vice president of recruitment and Theta Chi treasurer, said it was important to extend the length of recruitment and shorten the new member period. McNeill said this allows chapters to educate more students about history, creed and values.
“My organization believes being a part of the IFC and university community is important to succeeding,” McNeill said. “Though these new rules were not the most popular among many organizations, our leadership understood the reasoning that these rules were included.”
Zablosky said his fraternity chapter was in a fortunate position due to their size and national chapter’s rules. Since 2003, Kappa Sigma has not required local chapters to be affiliated with universities.
“We had the king piece and ultimately got to decide what route we were going to take,” Zablosky said. “Others didn’t have a choice because of their national (chapter’s) rules. There are smaller fraternities that signed back into the IFC just because they had to.”
The Greek Affairs Assistant Dean of Students Bob Dudolski said it was unfortunate Kappa Sigma did not return, but they would no longer be considered a recognized option for those interested in joining Texas State Greek life.
“Fraternities that closed or voluntarily left the university no longer have the rights and privileges of being recognized by the university to utilize campus resources, reserve space, recruit members or advertise on campus,” Dudolski said.
In reference to the suspension, Zablosky said penalizing every fraternity because of the actions of few is unfair. He cited incidents where his organization had remained above the fray and had won awards for hitting university and national benchmarks.
“After every incident involving fraternities, the university pointed blame at all Greek life, whereas the greek community saw it as isolated incidents within outliers,” Zablosky said. “Kappa (Sigma) didn’t get involved with any of those incidents.”
Kappa Sigma member’s final decision to withdraw from the IFC stemmed from the university refusing to recognize the fraternity’s benchmark until the reinstatement form was signed.
Kappa Sigma will continue to operate without an affiliation to Texas State or the IFC, while it is still supported by their national headquarters.
Dudolski said the IFC and the Dean of Students Office will be making students and parents aware of the recognized fraternities.
“Students need to make sure that if they are asked to join a fraternity and (are going to) pay membership dues, that the organization has proper recognition by the university,” Dudolski said.
Dudolski said he believes the new guidelines will serve as an opportunity for the Greek community. He was proud of the fraternities and sororities who recommitted to the core values of Texas State.
McNeill said this will help students find the fraternity that will help them succeed in college and after graduation.