Amid heightened attention on Greek life, sororities step up precautions during today's festivities

By Genevieve Hummer, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 21, 2015

In light of recent controversies related to Greek life on campus and across the country, several University sororities are ramping up restrictions on their members and precautions in advance of today’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

According to e-mails obtained by The Michigan Daily, several sororities are increasing restrictions on their members, citing additional attention on the Greek life community in recent months. Several sororities have asked their members to refrain from wearing clothing associated with Greek life and to be generally mindful about how their actions could negatively impact the perception of Greek life as a whole.

Though many chapters promote additional precautions on game days and major holidays that have a tendency to include drinking and outdoor parties, several sorority members told the Daily that recent restrictions were more strict than in the past.

LSA sophomore Sydney Brown, president of the University’s chapter of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, said Panhellenic sororities are working together to ensure their members behave responsibly.

“Given the amount of scrutiny of Greek life in the recent events in this past semester, both the Panhel President Maddie Walsh and all the other presidents of all the other Panhellenic sororities, myself included, feel as though we need to ensure better responsibility and safety of all of our members,” she said.

Several incidents related to Greek life chapters have garnered attention over the past few months — both on campus and nationally.

Earlier this week, Sigma Alpha Mu’s international board of directors permanently disbanded the University’s chapter. In January, members of the fraternity caused thousands of dollars of damage to a Northern Michigan ski resort. Three other Greek life chapters were also involved in ski resort damages in January.

Earlier this month, a video surfaced of members of the University of Oklahoma’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanting a racist song.

Brown said the University’s Panhellenic Association has spent the past few weeks crafting additional protocols for St. Patrick’s Day parties.

“We are taking precautionary measures, such as doing accountability buddies, pairing older girls with younger girls to look out for each other, we’re offering breakfast and lunch at all the houses so every girl can take a break for lunch if they need it,” she said.