MU Greek leaders discuss new policy to fix public image

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COLUMBIA – As more and more fraternities face misconduct charges across the nation, the Greek community of MU is looking into recommendations to fix its policies and image.

Greek leaders, community members, MU administrators and other stakeholders are meeting for a retreat Saturday to go over a long list of recommendations made by a company the university hired to investigate current policies.

Dyad Strategies released a 19-page report of its findings in 2017. To address the various concerns in the report, administrators created the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Board.

The report says the Office of Greek Life, which is responsible for coordinating with the Greek chapters on MU, took serious budget cuts which led to poor communication and unclear duties.

It recommends the Office of Greek Life and Greek chapters create new mission statements in order to narrow down what it is they stand for and clearly define their relationship.

Saturday's retreat is all about the various parties involved deciding which measures they want to recommend campus leadership to implement going forward.

"There are two things that hopefully we will accomplish as part of this," MU Dean of Students Jeff Zeilenga said. "Again, we will strengthen a fairly significant portion of our community. We also hope to implement some changes that will break down the perception of Greek versus non-Greek on campus."

MU has already restructured the Office of Greek Life in order to fix the communication problems the report mentioned.

Now, the university is working closely with Greek students to make sure the new policies that could be implemented are policies both sides can agree on.

"I think there are two ways to handle the relationship between the University of Missouri and fraternity and sorority life for our Greek community," Zeilenga said. "We could either take a distant approach – which I'm not sure I could recommend."

Since the release of the Dyad report, MU Farmhouse and Sigma Alpha Epsilon both announced they would close their doors.

The work groups hope to have their recommendations ready by December 2018.

"Many at the changes we are looking at are great changes, they will certainly benefit our students," Zeilenga said. "And, once again, I think that they will help us to create a safer and healthier community."