Miami University of Ohio Changes Their Fraternity Guidelines

Miami University of Ohio Changes Their Fraternity Guidelines

Miami University of Ohio fraternity and sorority members recently received a message addressing changes and recommendations that will be implemented in their community over the next year. These changes are meant to set a new standard for fraternities – one that focuses on brotherhood, leadership, and accountability.

It is no secret that in the last several years, their fraternity community has come under scrutiny for unhealthy decision making – some of which led to suspensions of organizations. In October 2016, attorney Doug Fierberg presented at the Miami OH campus: Campus Sexual Violence: Student Rights, University Responsibilities and Legal Liability in the Hunting Ground confronting these issues.

We here at School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law Group are happy to see flagged issues being undertaken with mature management.

Below is the text from the email that Greek students received.

Dear Members of the Miami University Fraternity & Sorority Community:

Miami has long been a leader in the fraternal movement. We have consistently talked about creating a “model Greek community” at Miami – one where students live their values, bring out the best in each other, hold one another accountable, and are role models on campus and across the country.

As we look to the future, we also must look at our past. There is no denying the fact that systemic issues in our community have led to concerning health and safety risks to students – in particular to the newest members of our Interfraternity Council community.

Over the course of the next year, you will see specific changes to fraternity life here at Miami. These changes were developed by a diverse team of committed fraternity stakeholders – students, chapter advisors, alumni, headquarters partners, housing corporation board officers, and staff. The committee evaluated data, reports, and other university standards to determine what would help promote safety and advance the fraternal experience at Miami. It was not an easy task, and the challenges posed to the committee were great, however, we firmly believe these changes will strengthen principles and limit risk among our fraternity chapters.

A few major changes that you will see include:

*             In spring semester 2019 and going forward, fraternity new members will need to complete online training courses on leadership and accountability.

*             The new member period will be changed to four weeks rather than eight.

*             In the recruitment period of spring 2020, all new members will be required to have a GPA of at least 2.75 (up from 2.5) to join a fraternity.

*             Live-in house directors will be required for fraternities to receive the second year exemption.

While we know that policies alone cannot change a culture, the changes are expected to:

*             Foster a culture that develops and rewards student leadership through participation in a fraternity.

*             Focus on academic excellence and student success.

*             Address the nationwide challenges of hazing, high-risk alcohol, and drug use while holding students and chapters accountable for standards.

Please know we are invested in navigating these changes and working together to create a sustainable community that upholds the Love & Honor of Miami. Communication and transparency will be consistent and necessary as we move forward.

Thank you for your dedication and investment in making your community one we can all be proud of.

The Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life 

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