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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 21, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Policies aim to change Cornell Greek system

Two years after the death of Cornell student George Desdunes, Cornell University has introduced new policies designed to reform Cornell fraternity and sorority pledging that will be implemented over the next three years.

The policies were outlined in a report titled “Meeting the Challenge: The Evolution of Cornell’s Greek Community” and are being put into effect in an effort to remove the power differential between Greek members and potential pledges and to combat hazing.

Changes will include a shortened pledge period, increased alumni involvement and potential live-in advisers in all chapter houses, which would be put into place during the 2014-15 academic year. The new policies would also call for increased university access to off-campus chapter houses for medical purposes.

Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, said the changes are an opportunity to address outdated or potentially inappropriate issues within the Greek experience.

“We can focus on what these organizations are truly here for, which is the development of our students,” Apgar said.

Ideas from the Recruitment, Acceptance, Retention and Education committee, a group of students and alumni faced with a yearlong task of brainstorming solutions to reform the pledging process, and administrators were sent to Cornell President David Skorton for approval. Skorton approved the recommendations last week.