Greek life addresses hazing on campuses

United Greek Council writes letter to Chancellor Dennis Shields concerning safety amongst greek life


Haley Kaiser graphic

An excerpt of the letter that the United Greek Council sent to Chancellor Dennis Shields.


Greek life has been a tradition at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville since 1866. However, certain stereotypes perpetuated in the media have given people a bad outlook on Greek life. UW-Platteville’s Greek life is striving to make a difference and show that they are not like other fraternities or sororities seen in the media.

After Maxwell Gruver, a freshman rushing the Phi Delta Theta fraternity  at Louisiana State University died from events linked to hazing,  The UW-Platteville United Greek Council received news of new policies being implemented from the North American Interfraternity Conference. From there, the UGC decided to write a letter to the Chancellor Dennis Shields.

“It came from news that the interfraternity conference, which is governs all of the fraternities that are in existence on other campuses and ours,” senior building construction safety management and president of United Greek Council Margaret Gray said. “They are adopting some changes that are coming in the form of health and safety programs. The review of good samaritan policies and addressing alcohol abuse because there have been some very unfortunate stories in the media involving students in Greek life- not on our campus, but on other campuses. Basically, our statement was saying that we don’t fit the negative stereotype. We work really hard to try and rise above it. It’s unfortunate that this has happened on campus, but we work really hard to fight against it.”

In their letter to Chancellor Shields, they wrote about the different outlets they offer to better educate their active members on topics like alcohol abuse, sexual assault and health and safety. They also host the event Greeks Step Up, which serves as a way to get involved in other programs like Stop the Hate, Safe Zone training, community outreach and more.

“We fight the Greek parties, ‘Animal House’ image,” faculty advisor Valerie Wetzel said. “We want leadership, community service, sisterhood and brotherhood.”

The letter also enforces the strict zero tolerance to hazing in any form by any chapter of Greek life on campus. The letter ends by stating, “we will not be naïve to the unfortunate events involving Greek students in the media nor be oblivious to the negative stereotypes as a result.”

Even with news of different deaths due to  hazing, Gray isn’t worried about the Greek life  on campus.

“On this campus we really try to perpetuate caring for one another. If you see someone that is having an issue you help them,” Gray said. “We’ve never had an instance where we haven’t cared about each other. That was where the statement was coming from, that we work really hard to not be like those other unfortunate instances.”