Cal Poly suspends all frats and sororities

January 14, 2015

calpoly greekFollowing a fresh sexual assault allegation, the Cal Poly administration is reprimanding the entire Greek system on campus.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and two other administrators announced Tuesday that they received a report of a sexual assault that allegedly took place at a social event hosted by a Greek group last weekend. In response, they placed all social fraternities and sororities on temporary social probation, which bars the Greek organizations from hosting social events on or off campus.

“In fall quarter and as recently as this past weekend, we have received reports of incidents ranging from sexual assaults to extreme intoxication of underage students at social events hosted by Greek organizations,” Armstrong said in a joint statement with Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and Dean of Students Jean DeCosta.

Last year, Cal Poly officials suspended Pi Kappa Alpha after a sexual assault allegedly took place at a Halloween party hosted by the fraternity. A report passed on to police by a university housing representative suggested that a woman woke up at the party to find herself engaged in sex acts and possibly drugged.

In September, San Luis Obispo police arrested the former president of Delta Sigma Phi for allegedly selling marijuana out of the fraternity’s house. The arrest came nearly a month after members of the Cal Poly football team allegedly attempted to rob the fraternity house at gunpoint.

Court testimony now indicates that San Luis Obispo police suspect that marijuana sales at the fraternity house factored into the motive for the robbery.

The Cal Poly statement released Tuesday says that Greek students must work with the university to create a plan for a culture change. If they do so, university officials will consider revoking social probation.


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Citizen

What did the sororities do to get shut down? Anything?


Answer4U

Political correctness….everyone’s equal…


Jorge Estrada

Cal Poly is not just a University, it also resembles Cityhood and will have to deal with the problems it has created for itself. A simple fix would be to subordinate public recreation, business licenses, utilities, police and fire to the City of San Luis Obispo. The Greek excuse is just that and will fix nothing.


obispan

Poly is determined that this will never happen. One Fall quarter there were 3 suicides in the dorms that never saw the light of day. Did anyone read about these Fall quarter sexual assaults? You would have if it were outside the “campus community”. Crimes like sexual assault are lead news in SLO County. Except at Poly. And by Poly I also mean the one mile radius of SLO City where they have joint jurisdiction and Poly can be the lone investigating agency. The head of the University Police is President Armstrong and PR is job one. Law enforcement should be contracted to either SLO City or the Sheriff. Cal Poly should be limited to civil enforcement of housing and parking rules. Paul Flores got away with murder because the University police and administration spent weeks obstructing the investigation, ignoring the pleas of her roommate and parents, and dragging up dirt on the victim before they were forced to acknowledge that her disappearance should be investigated.


smile4thecamera

I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t think frat members are capable of policing themselves after the alcohol starts flowing. I’m all for getting back to the idea of learning and shutting down these repeat offending fraternities & sororities. If they aren’t going to be shut down, then suspension and some type of community service should be mandatory.


achillesheal

Does anyone see the irony that in suspending sororities they have also punished the accuser?


In the future will a sorority member who has been sexually assaulted come forward if she has to worry that her sorority could be shut down or probated as a result of her charges?


Cathy S.

This is the third reported assault since the end of October, with nearly 4 weeks of students away from campus for Thanksgiving and Winter Break. When those responsible for the bad behavior can’t be identified due to the “protect the brothers” mentality then everyone gets bundled together. If they are to remain sanctioned by Cal Poly make them dry, if not remove them as sanctioned and maybe the police will shut them down for too many noise and underage drinking violations. The guilty need to be identified, and the mentality of drinking until you are dead or stupid, needs to change. Cal Poly also needs to start enforcing their own rules. How are these parties happening when there is a party registration system in effect. My thoughts, Cal Poly is again turning their heads and the fraternities are, as usual, ignoring the law and the agreement, just as this probation won’t stop the drinking and partying. Many of the organizations could be on probation simply for not meeting the Cal Poly grade policy, but again, Cal Poly is not enforcing that.


NorthCountyGuy

Like all Government Schools, Cal-Poly is not interested in education. Cal-Poly is a Marxist Indoctrination Center.


Rich in MB

It’s not the United States of America anymore when people can be punished for Allegations.

But then again…Big Education isn’t America is it, closer to Cuba in terms of Freedom of Expression with their speech codes and limitation.


Answer4U

Under U.S. Code Title IX, all publicly funded educational institutions SHALL immediately take any actions necessary to protect the welfare of students. Law enforcement must be able to articulate probable cause before arresting and charging someone with a crime. As I’m sure you know, the government must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt before a judge or jury can convict. On the other hand, Title IX only requires over a 50% likelihood that a campus club (i.e. fraternity/sorority) was culpable to some degree.


In my opinion, Cal Poly suspended all greek activities to remain compliant with Title IX requirements and reduce vicarious liability. In the mean time, Cal Poly will investigate the matter, document/communicate findings and enact a response plan.


Meanwhile, the Greek students will in no way be punished or limited in their normal activities. In fact, they can continue to be a bunch of drunken/high buffoons, and engage in greek activities – despite the suspension. And the worst that could happen to the offending greek organization: dis-association from the university. That my friend, does not in any way resemble limitation; it’s due process.


Imagine your significant other (or mother, sister, cousin, etc.) was raped in a gang’s house. Wouldn’t you want swift and certain action taken against all involved? What’s the difference here? In terms of structure and financing, there’s little difference between a fraternity and a gang from L.A. (drug sales/use, weapons violations, burglary, robbery, sexual assaults, other violent crimes, white-collar crimes, etc.). I highly doubt you’d lose a minute of sleep if all gangs in L.A. were disbanded (or “suspended”).


achillesheal

Be careful guys as the next step is double secret probation.


achillesheal

I guess President Jeffrey Armstrong never took the “due process” class at CalPoly.


LameCommenter

I’m not minimizing a possible sexual assault, but does everything in Calif have to be a nanny-state mentality? One uninvestigated report and you shut down the planet. Students are adults. Frat house parties have a deserved, valid reputation as being sometimes intense. They are not the local Sunday School and never were intended nor represented to be.


With obvious underage drinking, isn’t there some “assumption of risk” or other participatory doctrine that should weigh into the shut down matrix? Further, why shut down the entire system to punish those Greek orgs not responsible? Isn’t this a police matter, not a nanny Cal Poly matter?


Seems like Greek orgs have no civil rights to things like arrest, trial, defense, or discovery and jury of the peers. Just my take.


The Word

The school wants parents to send their children there. Parents want the school to protect their children while they are there. So they do “something”. Just my take.


r0y

Correction: parents want to send their children to an expensive baby sitter.


agag1

Strongly disagree.

Our kids don’t need a babysitter, we rarely if ever used one when they were younger–not about to start now.


We sent ours for an education, and a degree.


Thankfully, none of ours chose to participate in Greek life, but were/are involved in other school sponsored clubs and organizations.


Ours that have graduated have all been very fortunate to enter the workforce, and their degrees from Cal Poly have proven to be well worth the expense.


bobfromsanluis

“I’m not minimizing a possible sexual assault, …” yeah, in a way you are.


I do have to wonder if you would feel this same way if this were your daughter or granddaughter that was assaulted?


To every one who uses the reference “nanny-state”, you may not be aware of how your comments are being perceived, but any time I see that reference, I assume the speaker or writer feels that there is just too much government involvement in every thing under the sun and that government should “back off”. While it does happen that government agencies do over react to some events, IMO, “nanny-state” is a code for those of a Libertarian mind set that government cannot do anything right, ever.


I applaud Cal Poly’s president Armstrong for taking this decisive action so that the Greek organizations will finally recognize that they have a firm responsibility for ensuring the safety of students who attend these social gatherings. Sure, alcohol is going to flow, and underage drinking is going to happen; but policing themselves to make sure date-rape drugs aren’t present, that all students understand that “NO” means no isn’t an over step by a university.


Having a little fun should not be a situation that can allow students to be assaulted; stricter adherence to rules, more awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking, some sort of buddy system to keep a look out for those young women who could be in danger should all be encouraged at all social gatherings. Perhaps this suspension will finally have the Greek system wake up and establish a means of being able to have fun (parties) in a safe environment.


unlisted

The great lameness said “Students are adults.”


Say what??? Everything that I’ve seen and heard about frat boys reinforces my image that they are spoiled immature brats who only care about themselves. They most definitely ARE NOT adults, regardless of their chronological age.


OnTheOtherHand

Cal Poly can’t ban fraternities from existing. They can ban them from being associated with the university. If the fraternities and sororities want to behave like irresponsible, drunken kids instead of adults, they are free to do so off campus and answer to the police as far as legal violations. That would make their recruiting more difficult in that they would not be able to do so on-campus and there could be other consequences of which I am unaware.


Cal Poly, in allowing these activities in organizations associated with the University, could very well be assuming some liability for their actions if they do not check them. Given a legal system which goes after organizations with “deep pockets” for disproportionate share of legal judgments, they are justified in seeking to minimize their risk. This is no different than Lois Capps firing some staff representative for DUI murder, a PD firing a cop found to be active in the KKK or a business suspending one of their staff accused of dealing drugs.


Legal protections like trials are for individuals who are willing to be adults and take sole responsibility for their own actions in courts of law.