Six months after Bloomsburg kicked its Greek Life off-campus, University Officials said they do not see them ever coming back.
As of May 13th, BU has finalized their decision to completely discontinue all affiliation and ties with every Greek social organization due to behavioral infraction. The end of recognition is one the University officials do not see ever coming back.
In January 2021, Bloomsburg University had announced an official 5-year disaffiliation from four recognized organizations in the Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) system. After months of issues with these groups, repeated suspensions, and even a failed attempt at behavioral reform, they were disaffiliated officially in Spring 2021.
Tom McGuire, Bloomsburg University’s Communication and Media Director, said the decision to ban Greek life on the university came from a series of repeated violations within sororities and fraternities.
Members of social sororities and fraternities have decided to take matters into their own hands by continuing to operate their organizations without aligning themselves with the university.
Just before the start of the Fall 2021 semester, students in Greek life figured out how to keep their operations running. National sororities have become recognized by the NPC, or the National Panhellenic Conference. Local sororities and fraternities had become recognized as nonprofit organizations of Pennsylvania. Getting recognized nationally or locally is what allowed for Greek life to continue off campus.
One chapter that was not granted support was Phi Sigma Sigma as they were already on interim suspension from their national chapter. After Bloomsburg ended all Greek life, Phi Sig could no longer continue.
Lisa Cellini, an alumnus of Phi Sigma Sigma, stated, “Unlike the other international sororities on campus that are opting to continue, Phi Sig is still struggling with the tragic reality of a collegiate death only months ago. In the interim, we remain a suspended chapter and could not proceed as the other sororities can. That’s just reality.”
Jen Jetter ‘21 the president of Delta Phi Epsilon, said, “After Greek life was canceled, my org was officially removed as a sorority. One of the requirements to be a Delta Phi Epsilon sorority is to be associated with campus. So, for months, my leadership team, advisors and I went to countless meetings to figure out a way for us to remain a chapter. Finally, nationals agreed to keep us and work with us, as well as Tri Sigma, and Alpha Sigma Alpha. Today, we are proud to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation, and opportunity for growth.”
Sophomore Tri Sigma Member Tori Brown said, “Disaffiliating with the university put a huge damper on Greek life as a whole. It made everyone frustrated because sororities are ways that many people form friendships, gain leadership opportunities, make connections that can help you achieve a future career, and so much more!”
Brown mentioned how her sorority took matters into their own hands and kept continuing without the university’s support. After becoming supported by their national headquarters and recognizing the problems Greek life has caused the university in the past, Tri Sigma and the other national sororities have been working together to find ways to be better people in the community and find ways to keep each other safe.
Fraternal organizations had the same options as sororities, as they are one community. Michael Golasa, ‘21, a member of Lambda Chi Alpha stated, “My chapter is still supported by nationals, so not much has changed. The only major difference is the school isn’t our buffer between us and the police anymore.”
In order to overcome their rocky past, national sororities and fraternities have participated in educational zoom meetings each month, maintain a certain gpa, hold leadership positions, and complete a certain amount of community service hours each semester.
Local Greek life organizations are following a similar path as the national organizations. A member one of the six local sororities who requested to remain anonymous said, “After disaffiliation with campus, my sorority became recognized as a nonprofit of Pennsylvania. Even though we are no longer associated with BU, we still have a philanthropy, sisterhood, and alumni support. We still require active sisters to maintain a certain gpa and honor our core values as a sorority.”
The university has not spoken on if they plan to reinstall Greek life. This leaves students and faculty wondering if they may reinstall it during integration, as both Mansfield and Lock Haven are still affiliated with Greek Life.