Greek Council approves new COVID-19 bylaws

Cal Poly Pomona’s Greek Council ratified a new set of COVID-19 bylaws for fraternities and sororities on Nov. 13. Meeting the required 2/3 majority vote margin, the 18 council delegates approved the bylaws that seek to establish measures to guard against violations of COVID-19 health and safety regulations.

The approval of the bylaws follows a series of anonymous allegations of fraternity and sorority-organized gatherings on social media platforms. Coupled with past outbreaks at gatherings, Greek Council President Emily Frisan believed it was imperative to act.

“With everything happening around cppconfessions and the first gathering that caused the outbreak, Greek Council took it upon ourselves to create these bylaws for the protection of Fraternity and Sorority Life on campus,” said Frisan. “If anything were to happen, this is to hold the members of these organizations accountable for their actions.”

The new bylaws consist of a 4-strike system where the first three offenses will result in an individual fine ranging from $15 to $40 for anyone in violation of the 10-person limit on gatherings as per Los Angeles County health guidelines. Each offense will send an individual to a review board where their case will be heard. Upon a fourth strike, whichever organization that person is involved with will also be held accountable for the misconduct and will be suspended for a semester on campus.

Revenue from the fines will be donated to a COVID-19 relief fund to aid the community and spread awareness on the pandemic.

Comparing CPP’s Fraternity and Sorority Life to other state schools, the council constructed these bylaws considering that only of 2% of students on campus are involved in a Greek Council organization, making it a smaller percentage than other schools across the nation. Therefore, the council’s bylaws are less strict than other schools such as Alabama State where affiliated members must get tested every two weeks and report to their organization.

The Fraternity and Sorority Review Board is made up of three members from each of the campus’ three sub-councils, the Interfraternity Council, the National Panhellenic Conference and the Multicultural Greek Council, which are all summoned to review an individual’s case. With a majority of the vote, an individual can be found to have engaged in COVID-related misconduct and subsequently fined.

The accuser must have proof of misconduct in forms of testaments, photos or posts of the individual breaking these bylaws. After a third offense, the organization will be held accountable for their members’ actions and be placed on probation for a semester alongside the violating member.

With this system, the council hopes presidents of all organizations will take initiative and hold their members accountable before the council is required to take action.

“We’re all on the same page when it comes to passing these bylaws if it means making a statement to hold each other accountable and safe. It is both strict and fair, ” said Bobby Nelson, president of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on campus.

“I hope this starts a trend where it can show others we’re all responsible and want to create a better image for Greek organizations here on campus,” he added

Other council leaders think the bylaws won’t influence behaviors, as safety guidelines are already provided by the county and university.

“We’re aware of the severity of the pandemic as an organization on campus,” said Madison Vlcek, president of Sigma Kappa Sorority. “Whether the bylaws are passed or not, we’ll hold ourselves to the recommended COVID guidelines to keep ourselves and our sisters safe.”

The bylaws will be regularly reviewed every time restrictions are loosened from the county and the university.

(Feature image courtesy of Sigma Chi)

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