MU could pass strictest greek life policy in SEC

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri could become the strictest SEC school when it comes to Greek Life.

KOMU 8 News looked at Greek life regulations at all SEC schools to compare them to proposed changes to MU policy to be discussed at a joint student-alumni summit Saturday.

The changes include a ban on any hard liquor in fraternity houses; no longer allowing out-of-town social events; restricting female guests in fraternity houses from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. 

The original proposal included mandatory drug testing for all Greek students, but that was dropped.

Following complaints by Greek leaders, KOMU 8 News looked into how other SEC schools compare when it comes to Greek life policies:

Arkansas had probably the most thorough policy, restricting any chapter to nine social events and requiring campus police be at social events. Fraternities also have to register the event with the university ten days in advance.

Florida, Georgia, and LSU also require social events have university approval beforehand.

LSU, Florida, and Georgia all specify social events have to end at 2 a.m. on weekends.

Georgia and LSU regulate the type of alcohol containers used at social events: no kegs or punch bowls or other "open source" containers.

LSU also bans homemade alcohol as well as anything stronger than 12 percent alcohol by volume and restricts any drinking games or other encouragement of binge drinking.

KOMU 8 News found no mention in other university's policies of restricting guests to fraternity houses or to mandatory drug testing for Greek students, the two proposals that met with the largest student push-back.

The proposals are at the center of a disagreement between Greek student leaders and the administration.

In attempt to improve safety on campus, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has met with fraternity alumni to brainstorm policies designed to better protect female students. Some student leaders said some of the proposed policy changes are "overreaching."

MU Greek leaders have a chance to meet with the administration and alumni on Saturday. This follows a spike in crime and sexual violence on and around MU's campus.

At first, the chancellor met with members of the Mizzou Fraternity Alumni Consortium, a loosely affiliated group the university calls on for advice from time to time.

KOMU 8 News talked to the Ted Hellman, a spokesman for the alumni consortium. He sent an official statement via email, saying the consortium "collaborated with alumnae representatives from Pan Hellenic Association sororities in response to Chancellor Loftin's request for proposals throughout the process." However, he did not specify when the consortium began collaborating with PHA representatives.

Some student Greek leaders criticized Loftin after the alumni consortium released its list of proposed policy changes, saying they were not involved in the process.

"The Panhellenic Association and any leaders within the community were not approached, and were not involved with any of the initial proposals made by the consortium, and we heard about all these proposals after they were made," said Carolyn Welter, vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Association.

A letter from PHA to Loftin was signed by all ranking members of PHA as well as every sorority house president on campus.

"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).

When KOMU 8 News asked Hellman if he could verify when PHA representatives were brought into the meetings, he sent another written statement by another member of the consortium saying the consortium met with Interfraternity Council members twice during the proposal process. The email made no mention of any sorority involvement. Hellman has not responded to further requests to clarify when and if sorority students were included in discussion.

The letter from PHA, dated April 29, was followed by a joint news release put out by PHA and the Interfraternity Council. In the news release, both Greek councils said they plan to oppose many of the policy proposals, calling them "ineffective and uneducated."