Greek groups call women\'s safety proposals ineffective, uneducated

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COLUMBIA - Groups representing MU's fraternity and sorority students say they disagree with some of the administration's proposals aimed at keeping women safe on campus. 

Among the proposed changes is a ban on any hard liquor in fraternity houses, a restriction on female guests in fraternity houses 10 p.m. through 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and mandatory drug testing for all Greek members.

In a statement released today, the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council called the proposals "ineffective and uneducated."

Chancellor R. Bowin Loftin has been working with the MU Fraternity Alumni Consortium (FAC), which came up with the proposals in response to a series of sexual assault and violence cases on campus, including four rapes since the beginning of 2014.

The FAC is an unofficial group of Greek alumni the university administration said it reaches out to from time to time as an advisory group. The consortium calls its proposals, "Safety of Women Students in Fraternity Houses." 

Following the release of these proposed changes, the Mizzou Panhellenic Association (PHA), the governing council of a majority of MU's sororities, sent an email to Loftin, outlining its concerns and complaints regarding the premise of the proposal. 

The letter was signed by all ranking PHA executive members as well as every sorority house president. The letter calls the proposed changes "overreaching." The major complaint from PHA was the fact that no females were involved in the creation of the plan. 

"The goal is to address the safety of women students in fraternity houses, but the proposal was written by men who are not entrenched in daily campus, fraternity or sorority life," the letter states (original emphasis). 

The letter said the PHA does not oppose all of the proposals made by the consortium, such as limiting out-of-town social events, commonly called "formals," and educating new students about sexual violence.

Ted Hellman, who acts as the consortium's spokesperson, said much of the controversy surrounding the proposals are based on half facts perpetuated on social media, including a recent article written by "Total Frat Move" on MU's potential changes. 

Hellman said the process is still ongoing, and no proposals have been approved, and no policy has been changed. 

The statement released Friday from the IFC and PHA executive boards said, while they were "optimistic" about the summit, they "strongly" disagree with part of the proposal. The release also includes an attachment of PHA's letter to Loftin. 

The news release states PHA leaders find "the very premise of the proposal problematic," and "not in the best interest of the members of the Panhellenic Association."

Loftin will host a closed summit June 20, which will include members of the consortium, MU Greek chapter presidents, and choice ranking members of PHA and the Interfraternity Council (IFC).