University of Southern California (USC) fraternities will be able to return in some form from next month – albeit with security patrolling hallways leading to bedrooms.
Students were informed this week that fraternities will be allowed to resume “social activities” from “early February” as long as a list of rules were followed.
As The Los Angeles Times revealed on Wednesday, it marks the first time the Greek letter organisations have been able to meet physically following allegations of sexual assault at USC fraternities last fall.
“Social activities” at the fraternities, which will begin online before moving to physical events in “early February”, will require students to be teetotal.
As will fraternities be required to have a security guard in hallways leading to bedrooms, in an apparent attempt at stopping sexual assault.
The rules, which were issued by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Culture, Prevention, and Accountability – a working group – went on to say that full “fraternity gatherings” would be allowed in future if the groups follow the new rules on their activities.
“About 4,000 of our students participate in fraternity and sorority life at USC, and many say that this is a central part of their USC experience,” said USC provost Charles Zukoski this week.
“Our community must work together to end sexual assault on our campuses. We appreciate everyone who brings forward concerns and reports sexual assault and other issues impacting safety and well-being, and we understand how difficult this can be.”
It comes after USC authorities announced the suspension of one fraternity and social gatherings at the remainder of so-called Greek-letter organisations in October last year.
In an admission at the time, USC said it had been slow to inform students of six reports of drugging at Sigma Nu fraternity on 24 September, and an incident of sexual assault.
As were seven other students allegedly drugged at unnamed fraternities at USC, which resulted in the working group’s formation and investigations into allegations of inappropriate behaviour at the groups.
While in-person teaching also returns next week on Monday, the LA Times reported that three more fraternities have since been suspended, and another placed under a modified suspension.
They are Chi Phi Fraternity, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, and Kappa Sigma Fraternity.