Update: The Greek Week Committee has released a statement to KnightNews.com claiming it is not responsible for the decision to deny multiple wet socials throughout Greek Week. It appears to conflict with information UCF released.
“The Greek Week Executive Board does not have the authority to determine if a SERF or SAFE form for a social event gets approved. The Executive Board chose to plan a night free from Greek Week activities in order to allow teams the freedom to schedule a social if they pleased. There was no discussion or decision made to limit any socials in any way. However, we do support any decisions made by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life to restrict alcohol consumption throughout this week,” read a portion of the statement released by Megan Reid, the Greek Week Student Director 2011.
Read the entire statement by clicking here, or next page at the bottom of this story.
As anger among members of the UCF Greek community continues to grow over the controversial decision to allow only one alcohol-related social event during the entire Greek Week, UCF is claiming the unpopular restriction was no edict from University administration — and instead was self-imposed by Greek student leaders.
But when KnightNews.com ran that by IFC President Adam Brock, who is in the race for SGA Vice President, he seemed surprised.
“We (IFC) were not informed of this until 2 p.m. on Wednesday,” Brock said Thursday. “I’ve been in meetings all day about this and most students didn’t know about it.”
KnightNews.com contacted Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Belinda Boston to try and clear up the confusion surrounding the unpopular decision, after a memo was sent by Boston’s office Wednesday afternoon making it crystal clear it refused to approve paperwork allowing wet socials during Greek Week other than on Thursday night.
UCF spokesman Chad Binette issued a written response on her behalf stating that the policy of holding one night of wet social activities is the same as what was in effect for Greek Week last year and it did not change from last year. In prior years, however, KnightNews.com has learned there was no such policy, so it is relatively new.
The response sent on Boston’s behalf went on to place the responsibility for carrying on this relatively new one wet social restriction firmly at the feet of the Greek Week committee and claimed the Wednesday memo sent out by Boston’s staff was only to clarify the student committee’s decision.
“The decisions related to Greek Week socials were made by the Greek Week committee, which consists entirely of students,” the UCF response stated. “Those decisions were neither made nor changed by the university administration.”
It appears the Greek Week committee didn’t bother to tell IFC President Brock and other leaders in the Greek community about their controversial decision. Even after spending his day in meetings about this issue, Brock confirmed what exactly happened remained unclear at the end of the business day Thursday.
“I have no idea who made this decision and it’s my priority to find out who made this decision and why,” Brock said late Thursday night in a phone interview with KnightNews.com.
KnightNews.com also has interviewed the Gurney/Gonzales SGA Presidential ticket about the controversy, immediately after a Greek Town Hall campaign event Wednesday. Gurney criticized a lack of communication among Greek leadership as a big part of the problem.
“I think there was a lack of communication between the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and IFC and Greek life in general. And I think this edict that came down is problematic because it shows that difference, that disparity between the two groups,” Gurney said, adding that back when he served on IFC’s executive board it took a “pretty firm stance against new policies being created without student input being taken in.”
The controversy over the Greek Week social restrictions comes about one week after Boston’s OFSL sent a March 15 email to Greek chapter leaders declaring: “Based on recent incidents within the Greek community and recommendations from the higher administration to review our social policies, we will be making some changes to how socials are approved within Fraternity and Sorority Life.”
KnightNews.com has been working to get to the bottom of what prompted this review, which as we reported on Wednesday, led to UCF contacting national offices to discourage socials on school nights, banning pledge auctions at bars and refusing to give any leniency when requiring an exact list of guests who will attend in advance.
KnightNews.com received reports from credible sources that a UCF sorority member made allegations against Delta Upsilon fraternity which were never substantiated by UCF’s Office of Student Conduct. KnightNews.com let UCF know of reports we received, suggesting that because UCF wouldn’t have been able to prove the allegations in the Office of Student Conduct, UCF instead pressured DU’s national office to take harsher action against the chapter.
On Tuesday, KnightNews.com put in a public records request with UCF to try and find out if any allegations were made against DU by members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, as our sources told us. Belinda Boston responded that night by writing, “I don’t have a written complaint from KKG.”
On Wednesday, KnightNews.com then asked Boston for clarification, in case, for example, a complaint was issued in writing to another member of her staff or in person to her.
“Could you please clarify if you are unequivocally denying any knowledge of any allegation or implication or suggestion that during, or within a few hours of, some sort of social event where KKG and DU were together, a member affiliated with KKG became intoxicated to the point some suspected she may have been drugged?” KnightNews.com asked Boston Wednesday.
Neither Boston nor UCF addressed this question in the responses that came back Thursday, even though KnightNews.com informed Boston that a story could be published on the matter by Thursday.
UPDATE FRIDAY: After KnightNews.com published the information above, UCF released records — after Boston initially told us: “I don’t have a written complaint from KKG.” The records showing a written complaint from KKG are posted here. DU was not convicted of these allegations, as far as KnightNews.com has been told.
The UCF response also did not address another question KnightNews.com asked, regarding who in the “higher administration” recommended the review and why.
“Can you be more specific with that, and let us know if it was Dr. Ehasz who pushed for this after witnessing unflattering behavior during a social about to leave VAB? Also, can you please tell us if there was any chance for public comment, or input sought from students before these policies were put into place? (Such as is the case with OSC and Golden Rule Review?)”
KnightNews.com also asked if the same stringent standards applying to fraternities and sororities were also enforced with other UCF registered student organizations, such as the chocolate club. KnightNews.com did not get a response addressing this point either.
UCF did point out that it hopes that Greek Week will go well.
“We are looking forward to an exciting week of events designed to bring the Greek and UCF communities together in a safe environment,” the response stated.
KnightNews.com will update this topic if Boston or her spokespeople provide answers to the outstanding questions.