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MU releases final plan for Greek Life improvement

The University of Missouri released a final plan on Thursday outlining an overhaul to its Greek Life system.

The 24-page report, which can be found here, has focus areas, including diversity, hazing prevention, recruitment, freshmen in Greek housing and social event risk management. Some of the changes have already been implemented, and others will be rolled out in the coming semesters.

The changes have been in the works since 2017 when Gary Ward became the new Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. MU paid Dyad Strategies of Florida $22,000 to help the school get a sense of national best practices related to Greek Life and current policies and procedures in place.

“From the beginning of this process, I have been committed to supporting our Greek community and making it the best in the nation,” Ward said. “We know that these organizations are a vital part of the Mizzou student experience, and we see this plan as an expression of our commitment to enhance and protect that rich tradition.”

ABC 17 News reported in August 2018 seven fraternities had ended their Columbia-based chapter or were no longer recognized by the university as an organization.

The final report recommends that new members have a six to eight week new member period for the education process, which can vary from chapter to chapter. The recommended new member period will be implemented in fall 2021.

The plan also will develop a policy to encourage self-reporting of hazing, which will be implemented in fall 2019. Individuals would be able to self-report instances of hazing, without fear of punishment. The policy would focus more on individual accountability rather than that of the entire organization.

MU’s fraternity scorecard for the fall 2018 semester shows six chapters had hazing violations and 13 chapters had less than a 3.0 GPA. The sorority scorecard shows one chapter had a hazing violation and one chapter had less than a 3.0 GPA.

Dyad found that MU was one of six universities across the country that allowed freshmen in Greek housing. The new plan will allow chapter to conitnue to have freshmen live in the houses until 2021. Until then, chapters will work toward specific changes to housing over the next two and a half years. Beginning in fall 2021, chapters will have to meet specific criteria, including having a minimum 3.0 GPA and having not violated university policy, in order to have freshmen live in the house.

If chapters do not meet the criteria, freshmen can live in the house starting their second semester, but they cannot make up more than 10 percent of the residents in the house.

Starting in spring 2020, the final plan would put certain parameters on which chapter and social events could have alcohol. Events with alcohol would only be allowed Thursday through Sunday and could not last longer than four hours, among other parameters.

“This plan is a living plan,” said MU spokeswoman Liz McCune. “Adjustments may be made based on the goals of university and the Greek community related to fraternities and sororities.”

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