The University of Nebraska-Lincoln plans to host a Greek Summit to address concerns regarding Greek life, following allegations of sexual assault at multiple fraternities.
Chancellor Ronnie Green first detailed the event, which was originally scheduled for Saturday but has since been postponed, at the Oct. 12 meeting of the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee, according to minutes of the meeting.
Green also disclosed other details regarding the suspension of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and publicly reported the investigation into the Sigma Chi fraternity has ended.
Sigma Chi self reported an incident of sexual assault on their premises in Aug. and enforced a “self-suspension.” According to the meeting minutes, Green said no further action was necessary because no complaints were filed with the university regarding the incident.
Deb Fiddelke, UNL’s chief communication and marketing officer, confirmed in a call to the Daily Nebraskan last week that the fraternity was placed on a year-long probation.
The proposed summit will be composed of all members of the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association and their executive leadership teams, as well as advisers, alumni of the houses and house parents, estimated to amass a total of over 300 individuals, according to the meeting minutes.
Fiddelke said the event will be closed to the media and public to encourage “candid conversations” with those in Greek life.
“This is not a public forum,” she said in a call with The Daily Nebraskan on Wednesday. “This is about having really important conversations with the leaders of these Greek houses as to how we best posture the Greek system moving forward.”
David Billesbach, a research assistant professor in Biological Systems Engineering and member of the Faculty Senate executive committee, also confirmed the Greek Summit was discussed at the Faculty Senate meeting.
“My understanding is that there will be a rundown of what has happened,” he said, “and there will be a charge given to the IFC and the [Panhellenic Association] to come up with action plans to prevent further incidents from happening within Greek houses.”
Green said he will speak openly about the issues within the Greek system and will share data regarding the number of complaints that have been filed against Greek organizations and the issues that have arisen, according to the meeting minutes. He also said he intends to speak about reforms he finds necessary for the Greek system to have success moving forward.
Billesbach asked Green “how egregious a violation must be for a Greek house to be banned from campus,” according to the minutes.
Green said it is difficult to completely remove a fraternity from campus, because often — as is the case for FIJI — the university does not own the house, so it is unclear what will happen to the building in the future, according to the meeting minutes.
Billesbach told The Daily Nebraskan that he asked Green the question because he was curious what behavior would be required to warrant more action. Billesbach said his understanding was that the suspension was the ultimate punishment that could be doled out for the violations which occurred.
“I didn’t get any impression at all of what [Green] might or might not do,” Billesbach said. “He was pretty much explaining what we could or could not do.”
Green said, for example, that any hazing-or-alcohol-related incident that led to the death of a student would close a Greek house. According to the meeting minutes, Green said UNL has been more aggressive than other universities around the country when it comes to disciplining Greek houses.