President Gee’s final decision on fraternities

Mountaineers planning on rushing a fraternity now have their options reduced significantly, with Alpha Sigma Phi, Kappa Alpha Order, Theta Chi, Sigma Chi and Phi Sigma Kappa banned from West Virginia University for the next 10 years.

In (another) letter to WVU students and parents, President Gordon Gee said, “I write to you with a heavy heart, as I had hoped we could come to an agreeable resolution with the fraternities that have chosen to dissociate from our University… West Virginia University no longer recognizes the following fraternities and will prohibit the chapters from applying to be formally recognized by the University for a period of at least 10 years.”

These decisions have come after a series of events, from social media posts to “Reaching The Summit: Plan for Excellence.” For more background information on this issue, read HC WVU’s initial report.

In late August, Gee and university officials determined that the disassociated fraternities would be allowed to stay on campus and mutual understanding and compromise would ensue.

However, after “the dissociated fraternities chose to ignore university policies and procedures… It has been reported that some have recruited and initiated freshmen into their ranks. Despite discussions with national leadership and student leaders, several of the fraternities chose to continue with their membership programs, ultimately putting students at risk,” Gee’s letter said.

So, what does this mean for the fraternities that lost their recognition? “West Virginia University” branding and even references can’t be used. In addition, no activities sponsored by a recognized student organization are allowed, along with no university-led activities including intramurals, no Homecoming events and no Greek Week.

Gee continued, “In addition, I will ensure that we will continually remind students and parents that these chapters are not operating under the guidance of the University and will discourage students from joining.”

One aspect emphasized by both the unrecognized fraternities and Gee’s letter is that the chapters are supported by their national organizations to continue activities separate from WVU. “Regrettably, the actions taken by WVU have negatively affected all organizations, and more importantly negatively affected all students. To date, WVU has been unwilling to accept, agree to or negotiate any of our ideas,” said the newly formed Independent Fraternity Council.

“I am committed to changing the culture on this campus. The actions the University is taking are necessary if we are to create a culture that is healthy, vibrant and worthy of this institution. Together, we can ensure the values of West Virginia University continue to make our campus an inclusive, safe and purposeful place,” Gee concluded.