UNF President Delaney Responds To Reports Of Suspension Of Greek Life On Campus

Dec 6, 2017

Greek activities will keep going at the University of North Florida, according to UNF President John Delaney.

The university newspaper and other Jacksonville news outlets, including WJCT News, reported Tuesday that all fraternity and sorority social events at the school had been temporarily suspended by the student council that oversees Greek life on campus.

A letter from the council calling the suspension a proactive measure to, quote, “ensure the safety and longevity” of Greek organizations at the school.

After sitting down with the council Tuesday afternoon, Delaney issued a statement saying he understood the group’s concerns but that it didn’t have the authority to call a halt to Greek life at the school.

Instead, Delaney says, the council will meet with UNF’s  various Greek organizations and come up with recommendations to make sure they don’t experience the same tragedies seen on other campuses.

Florida State University and Texas State University suspended all of the fraternities and sororities on their campuses last month after a student at each of the schools died following frat parties.

Message from President Delaney Regarding Greek Life at UNF

Late this afternoon, I met with the students who head up the University of North Florida Council of Presidents, which represent the Interfraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council and the Panhellenic Council. I asked to meet with these students to better understand their proposed and tabled moratorium on alcohol at Greek social events. 

This was incorrectly communicated as a "suspension of Greek activities," which wasn't the intent of the leaders of the Council and also not within its authority. Greek activity has NOT been suspended on campus.

While no single event triggered their suggestion, there is clearly a genuine concern about some inappropriate behavior at some Greek events, both at UNF and across the country. 

I was very impressed with the students' passion for returning the focus of their organizations to the values they hold dear. Frankly, many of my presidential colleagues haven't had such a similar experience, and I am grateful for the passion.

This week, the Councils will be meeting with the presidents, delegates and advisors of each chapter to discuss ways to ensure that UNF fraternities and sororities have responsible mechanisms in place to ensure they don't experience the same tragedies we've seen on other campuses.  Following those meetings, the Council of Presidents will make a recommendation to me. 

I want to make it clear that this proactive approach, if implemented, doesn't impact the majority of Greek life activities, such as rush events, member gatherings, chapter meetings or the organizations' numerous philanthropic activities. The proposal is, in essence, a voluntary, self-imposed two month "pause button" requiring no alcohol at chapter activities that would allow each chapter to refocus its efforts on helping produce outstanding men and women who are leaders in their communities.