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Greek Row And University Conflicts Are Nothing New

Ryan Shaw |
October 17, 2013 | 9:30 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

USC SAE via Creative Commons
USC SAE via Creative Commons

There are many benefits to having a thriving Greek life at a university.

Anything that fosters friendship and camaraderie is no doubt a good thing, and the vast majority of Greek-oriented events go without any issues.

That being said, there have been highly publicized events in the past that have shown the negative side of Greek life. These incidents have reflected negatively on USC, which is why the current administration is taking no chances this time in their latest ban.

SEE ALSO: Opinion — USC, Don't Ground Greek Row

In the spring of 2011, Kappa Sigma was involved in an email scandal that made national news. An unidentified member of the fraternity circulated an email to other members of the house. The author of the email gave his fellow brothers “advice” on how to hook up with girls, referring to females as “targets” and warning readers to not to think of targets as “people like us”.  He also drew a controversial distinction between non-consensual sex and rape. This incident drew headlines around the country, featured in Jezebel, LAist, The Los Angeles Times and the popular YouTube news outlet The Young Turks show.

As a result of this and other incidents that semester, The Row was placed on social probation. Informal Tuesday and Thursday night gatherings were banned for the rest of the semester.  

In the fall semester of 2011, pre-rush parties — events popularly attended by new freshman students — were banned. Again, there were too many transports that the university just couldn’t ignore.    

In the spring semester of 2013, the administration canceled pre-rush parties in an attempt to change the alcohol-centric image of Greek life and reduce risk at recruitment events. Canceling pre-rush parties that semester was also financially motivated. It cost the university about $20,000 to provide security for the two-day, row-wide party.

And the most recent string of incidents includes seven students being sent to nearby hospitals from intoxication, while an eighth student visiting from LMU suffered a serious head injury at Sigma Alpha Epsilon during an unregistered party. According to SCampus guidelines, these parties are not allowed unless they are registered with student affairs and DPS. The LMU student that fell is currently in critical condition.

READ MORE: USC Cracks Down On Frat Row As Injured LMU Student Continues In Serious Condition

In response, the university has released a series of policy enforcements. For the rest of the fall 2013 semester, only social events that are registered and gone through a review process are allowed. Fire inspections will take place before scheduled events, and fraternities will be required to comply with all L.A. city ordinances. The administration is strongly discouraging “Date Dashes” during weekdays, and all future events must be limited to USC students.

These actions taken by the university are nothing new.

As long as there continues to be transports — people taken to the hospital as a result of alcohol poisoning — the university will continue to limit social Greek activities. And the university administration has had and always will have the last say in what will be allowed on The Row.

Reach Staff Reporter Ryan Shaw here. Follow him on Twitter.



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