The University of Kansas has commissioned a Greek life task force whose job it will be to explore making changes to the school’s Greek system in an effort to make fraternities and sororities “safer and more efficient.”
The formation of a Greek life task force comes during a year where the University of Kansas was forced to hand down multiple suspensions to Greek life organizations.
Douglas Girod, the University of Kansas Chancellor, announced the new task force on Thursday, November 8, saying that it already had plans to meet for the first time and that they are expected to recommend new Greek policies and programs by the summer.
Additionally, the university said that the task force is made up of 27 individuals that include student leaders, chapter advisers, alumni and parents, school officials from Student Affairs, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Student Conduct Office and the Chancellor’s Office.
Mike Michaelis, a Beta Theta Pi member who is a University of Kansas alumnus, will be the chair of the task force.
The move comes months after the university worked with a small group of fraternity leaders to curb Greek social activities, only to have the broader fraternity community revoke changes they deemed “unconstitutional” within days. At that time, Girod called for more collaborative efforts to address the issues.
Girod said the group will be expected to “evaluate sorority and fraternity life at KU, explore best practices related to policy and programming, and submit recommendations on how Greek life can be enhanced.”
“With sororities and fraternities under scrutiny nationwide and at KU, we must commit to raising our standards for health, wellness and self-governance and seek new ways to meet the expectations we have for our community,” Girod said in an official statement.
In February 2018, the Delta Upsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapters at the University of Kansas were forced to cease operations due to various code of conduct violations.
Schools and universities all across the country have installed sweeping and systematic changes to their Greek life organizations in an effort to thwart the alcohol and hazing-related incidents that have been occurring at fraternities over the decades.