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Fraternities Refusing to Sign On to New UVA Rules Implemented in Aftermath of Rolling Stone Article

Posted: Updated: Jan 13, 2015 04:55 PM
UVA Fraternity Operating Agreement 2015 UVA Fraternity Operating Agreement 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Two fraternities are standing up to the University of Virginia, saying they won't play by new rules. Kappa Alpha Order and Alpha Tau Omega have harsh words for UVA leaders.

Both fraternities released statements on Tuesday, citing reasons why they won't sign on with new guidelines UVA is mandating for Greek organizations.

Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Order say the university violated the original fraternity operating agreement (FOA), going as far as accusing UVA of strong-arming fraternities by suspending them.

Both fraternities also say the new agreement creates unique legal burdens on students.

"I think the fraternities want to understand why it is the university took action against 25 percent of the student body and suspended them without any thought to due process," said Kevin O'Neill, a member of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee.

Phi Kappa Psi - the fraternity called into question in the Rolling Stone magazine article which started all of this - has signed the new agreement with UVA.

The agreements were developed by student groups and would require that parties not serve pre-mixed drinks or punches, beer to only be served from unopened cans, wine poured by a sober brother, and security at the doors.

A spokesperson with the university says "We remain hopeful that all groups will commit to these reasonable protocols designed to improve student safety."

Statement from Kappa Alpha Order:

Kappa Alpha Order is not signing the new Fraternity Operating Agreement (FOA) for two reasons:

The University violated the previous FOA as well as student individual and organizational rights. The system-wide suspension, which was initiated for reasons that were found to be untrue, unfairly punished all members of fraternities and sororities. It was maintained and used as leverage to require the changes to the FOA. Because we do not accept the validity of a suspension imposed in contravention of the existing FOA, university policy, Virginia law and the constitutional rights of our members, we are not compelled to sign a revised FOA to continue operations on campus.

Second, Kappa Alpha Order's own risk management policies, much like the policies of all national fraternities and sororities, are as strict or more strict than this new FOA. Our chapter will comply with the more restrictive of the policies in its activities. We are concerned that the university's revision to the FOA may create new liability for individual members of our organizations that is more properly a duty to be borne by the university itself.

Together, these circumstances set a dangerous precedent of an erosion of student and organizational rights.

Kappa Alpha Order fully welcomes the opportunity to work with UVA on continuing dialogue of partnership and risk management education. This should occur on an ongoing basis, not under these pretenses.

Statement from Alpha Tau Omega:

INDIANAPOLIS- Alpha Tau Omega is not signing the new Fraternity Operating Agreement (FOA) for two reasons:

The University violated the previous FOA as well as student individual and organizational rights. The system-wide suspension, which was initiated for reasons that were found to be untrue, unfairly punished all members of fraternities and sororities. It was maintained and used as leverage to require the changes to the FOA. Because we do not accept the validity of a suspension imposed in contravention of the existing FOA, university policy, Virginia law and the constitutional rights of our members, we are not compelled to sign a revised FOA to continue operations on campus.

Second, Alpha Tau Omega's own risk management policies, much like the policies of all national fraternities and sororities, are as strict or more strict than this new FOA. Our chapter will comply with the more restrictive of the policies in its activities. We are concerned that the university's revision to the FOA may create new liability for individual members of our organizations that is more properly a duty to be borne by the university itself.

Together, these circumstances set a dangerous precedent of an erosion of student and organizational rights. Alpha Tau Omega fully welcomes the opportunity to work with UVA on continuing dialogue of partnership and risk management education. This should occur on an ongoing basis, not under these pretenses.

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