Student Affairs uses proactive approach on Greek trouble

By News Editor Ciera Golliver

All members of UNA Greek chapters met Oct. 22-23 to discuss previous alleged physical altercations which put the entire Greek community on notice.

Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields said the purpose of this meeting was to make sure all members heard the same warning about the severity of recent physical altercations and the punishment associated with that.

There have been five different physical altercations so far this semester. These altercations resulted in students going to the hospital, police charges and individuals filing campus Code of Conduct charges against various Greek chapters and individual members, according to a letter from Shields.

Shields said it is not uncommon for a Greek chapter to have cases go before the Code of Conduct board, but it is unusual for UNA to have so many different cases in such a short amount of time.

Shields said alcohol was a factor in all of these altercations.

Although some members may feel they did everything possible to stop these altercations, Shields said each member needs to be aware of their responsibility to stop trouble before it gets out of hand.

He said bystanders could have stopped these events but chose to wait until things were too late.

Freshman Alex Phillips said it is good the university is holding Greek members responsible for their actions, but the entire system should not have to suffer for the actions of a few members.

“At some point, you have to step up and take responsibility for your actions,” Phillips said. “That is what being an adult is about.”

Shields said he wanted to take a proactive approach to make the Greek organizations aware the university does not support the trend it is seeing.

Shields said he does not want to insinuate all Greek members are guilty, but he wants members to be aware when they wear Greek letters, people group them with the guilty party.

He said if an event happens on campus, all the public hears is a chapter at UNA was involved. The public does not know which chapters or individuals.

He said he hopes his letter made Greek members think about why he wrote the letter and encourages members to evaluate themselves and their members and hold each other accountable.

“If you want the benefits that come with being a Greek system for a university, (you) have to be a little better than everybody else,” Shields said. “You say you stand for all of these different things, hold yourself and others accountable.”

Shields said he strongly believes in the positive impact a Greek system can have on a university because he was a member of a fraternity, but the negative actions do just as much harm as the positives do good.

He said he hopes to hold the individual members accountable for these actions because they should not be able to hide behind an organization.

Freshman Hannah Thomas said she believes punishing an entire organization will not do any good.

She said she hopes the university is able to find the individuals responsible and punish them accordingly.

Shields said he is unable to share any specific details about which chapters are involved in these Code of Conduct violations because university officials are still investigating these instances.

Shields said he has not heard about the alleged videos circulating campus of activities violating university policy at various Greek events, but he encourages anyone who may have physical evidence of any activity going against university policy to share the video with the Code of Conduct office so the university can hold individuals accountable.