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University Of Nebraska Uses Logic, Gives Troubled Fraternities Second Chance

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Universities these days are too quick to judge, especially when it comes to fraternities. Trying to convince your school’s Greek life office that you aren’t a house full of demon spawn is about as futile a task as trying to tell time in a casino, betting on Sergio to win a major, or being a well-respected hibachi chef at a Japanese steakhouse if you’re white. I can’t even imagine how disheartening it must be to look up after a perfectly executed onion volcano to faces full of pity grins and apathetic applause. Tragic. Nobody wants a hibachi honkey. That’s just the way of the world.

In a world full of terribly-officiated Greek life offices, the University of Nebraska may be paving the way for a future that’s just a little less unfair to us. And honestly, I’d take that at this point.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has suspended three fraternities in the last year and a half.

Since their suspensions, Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Nu and FarmHouse were all given a set of expectations to fulfill, which were specific to each fraternity, in order to be reinstated as a recognized organization on campus after a period of suspension.

“The responsibility lies with the members of each fraternity and what they want to do to keep the chapter alive and move forward,” said director of Greek Affairs Linda Schwartzkopf.

The university is working with chapters that they deem troubled by suspending them until they’re back on the straight-and-narrow instead of just blindly cutting ties altogether. I like it. Gives you and the fratsquad another chance. That is, unless, they’re still suspending fraternities for stupid things in the first place.

In July, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity was given a two-year suspension after a several month-long investigation found that the fraternity was consuming alcohol in the house and at off-campus parties where minors were present.

A “several month-long investigation?” Did it really take that long for you to realize this was going down? Sounds like you really had your best men on the case. Maybe a mole or two in the ATO pledge class. While it sucks for ATO, the university kinda had their hands tied on this one. A suspension is the least they could do. Fraternities have been kicked off for less.

Sigma Nu was suspended indefinitely in spring 2014 after an investigation found the chapter had allegedly violated 62 fire codes.

You’re really gonna get after a group of college kids for not knowing the fire code manual cover-to-cover? I mean, yeah we have a guy in our chapter, the risk manager, whose job it is – it’s literally a paid job in some chapters – to take care of matters like this, but he’s usually too busy being a risk to manage them. On a related note, if your risk manager isn’t the biggest risk in your house who was elected ironically, you need to impeach your goody-two-shoes risk man stat.

I guess Nebraska kinda had to do something in the Sig Nu case too, but a warning probably would have sufficed. I’m going to need a pretty good example of a fraternity that actually deserved to be kicked off that Nebraska then saved from certain death by way of suspension to get me on their side.

On Oct. 23, 2014, University of Nebraska-Lincoln suspended FarmHouse fraternity indefinitely after a freshman-oriented party lead to the death of freshman Clayton Real.

Oh. Shit.

A kid literally died from alcohol poisoning at a FarmHouse party. It’s pretty unbelievable to me that the university didn’t just give them the big ol’ boot. “They killed one of their guests” is enough to get any fraternity banned from a university for life, and even enough to get chapter executives sent to jail (which actually happened in this case). It was a bold strategy for Nebraska to just put FarmHouse on suspension, one that easily could’ve given them some bad press. But they were dedicated to righting the wrong instead of vanquishing the fraternity to the fiery depths of charter revocation.

Let’s see how it played out.

“FarmHouse has done everything we have asked them to do, so the university is going to be recognizing them as an organization starting in the fall, but they will still need to go before the (Interfraternity Council),” Franco said.

While FarmHouse will be reinstated as an organization on campus, it will continue to be on probation for the next two years.

FarmHouse is the only fraternity of the three to be reinstated as a recognized group at the university.

You mean to tell me that fraternity members aren’t bumbling morons who can’t learn from their mistakes and are actually capable of bettering themselves?! Wow, it’s like fraternities were created for that exact purpose or something!

It’s refreshing to see a new take on fraternity discipline. In the end, though, the age-old fraternity adage still rings true:

“Just don’t get caught.”

[via The Daily Nebraskan]

Image via The Daily Nebraskan

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Jared Borislow

Jared Borislow (né The DeVry Guy) is a Senior Writer for Grandex Inc and a 2015 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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