CU Boulder Fraternities Choose To Remain Independent After Being Offered Chance To Reaffiliate With University

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A year after the University of Colorado Boulder announced its plan to reaffiliate with fraternities, not a single fraternity has accepted the university’s offer.

The fraternities at CU Boulder are unique because they operate entirely independent of the university. Their umbrella organization, the student-led Interfraternity council, has been separated from the university since 2005, following the alcohol-related death of a Chi Psi pledge. The IFC refused to sign an agreement which would delay rush until the spring. To this day, the IFC and the university have yet to reach a compromise. The sororities as well as the multicultural fraternities remain tied to CU Boulder.

The university admits that the fraternities have cleaned up their act on their own. The fraternities continue to grow, too, accepting their largest rush class in history this fall. Because of the progress they’ve made, the vice chancellor for student affairs says they won’t pressure the IFC to reaffiliate, but adds that if any new chapters wish to colonize at CU Boulder, they are more than welcome to affiliate with the university.

From Daily Camera:

“I don’t think that we’ll see any current Boulder fraternities join with CU,” she said. “I do think that there’s still some fraternities that may want to colonize here and I think for any new ones, there’s interest in being affiliated with the university.”

She said the university does not want to pressure any existing Boulder chapter into affiliating with CU. For now, CU officials will work on “rebuilding” the university’s relationship with Boulder fraternities, she said.

“We’re not trying to undo anything they have done or to diminish any of the work they’ve done,” Gonzales said. “They’ve done great work in getting themselves to what I understand is a better place then they were before.”

Meanwhile, Boulder’s independent fraternity community is growing and is expecting roughly 1,300 students to rush this fall. The community has grown, too, and has three new chapters this year for a total of 18 fraternities. Another chapter is expected to launch in Boulder later this fall, bringing the total to 19.

“This is easily the largest rush that I’ve ever experienced,” said Noah Stein, a CU senior and president of the Interfraternity Council. “Everyone is feeling good about where we are as a community.”

I gotta say, these CU Boulder fraternities have it all figured out.

Everything is just like Greek life at any other school. The difference? Separating from the university means the IFC is under zero pressure from administrators. These guys are practically untouchable. The only way a chapter could be shut down is if A) The IFC decides to give them the boot (which is unlikely — again, the IFC is led by current fraternity men who, in this case, don’t have any university officials breathing down their necks), or B) their national organizations decide to pull their charter, which usually only happens after the university calls them out.

So if separating from the university is so sweet, then why doesn’t every fraternity at every university do it? Because of the sororities. Sororities at most universities will not be permitted to hold official events with fraternities that aren’t recognized by the school (you can guess why that would suck). This provides an incentive for fraternities to remain in good standing with the university. At CU Boulder, however, none of the fraternities are recognized by the school, but the sororities still hang out with them because hey, they didn’t join a sorority to hang out with zero fraternity men.

This is such a rare case, though. Most universities will only boot one or two fraternities at a time (the other fraternities aren’t going to join them in exile — two less houses means more sorority tail for them). Even if a large number of fraternities are booted from the university at the same time, there will always be one boner chapter that remains faithful to the school. The CU Boulder fraternities somehow managed to create a pact amongst themselves to remain independent, and then stand by that pact for a decade.

But what’s most impressive about the CU Boulder fraternities is that even the university admits they’ve cleaned up their act all on their own.

It’s time for all of us to follow in CU Boulder IFC’s footsteps. It’s time to band together and say sayonara to restrictive and ineffective university officials.

[via Daily Camera]

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