Six fraternities have cut off official ties with the University of Southern California’s new safety rules.
The USC chapters of Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Beta Tau severed their relationship with the school after it put in place new policies for school-sanctioned activities which include having security guards at parties, mandated ID scanners and a ban on large containers of alcohol such as kegs, according to ABC News.
The rules follow calls for the school to do more after reported of sexual assaults at a fraternity event last year.
In a statement, USC said it was disappointed with the chapters’ move to dissociate with the school.
“This decision seems to be driven by the desire to eliminate university oversight of their operations. The members are chafing at procedures and protocols designed to prevent sexual assault and drug abuse and deal with issues of mental health and underage drinking,” the school said in the statement.
The North American Interfraternity Conference issued a statement in response, noting that it worked to address concerns from its members over USC’s policies. In the statement, the organization claimed the policies treat its chapters “in a manner that is fundamentally unfair and inconsistent with the Conference’s position statements on system-wide actions, organizational conduct adjudication and recruitment.”
“As research shows, fraternity members benefit from engagement significantly more than non-members, particularly in first-year students, and report higher levels of positive mental health along with lower rates of depression and anxiety,” according to the NAIC.
Tracey Vitchers, the executive director of the nonprofit organization “It’s on Us,” which works to combat sexual assault on college campuses, told ABC News the situation at USC is one that schools across the country are facing.
It’s in light of increased reports of assaults involving fraternities and fraternity members, she said.
USC’s policy changes are positive but walks a fine line, she said, adding it runs the risk of creating “underground” fraternities, which legally don’t have the oversight as other school sanctioned groups.
She said the situation could set a precedent on other colleges and their fraternity chapters, so both parties must work to come up with solutions to curb violent incidents.