LOS ANGELES - Most University of Southern California fraternities can resume having parties in March, as long as security guards are posted at stairs or hallways in fraternity houses that lead to bedrooms, under a new policy enacted months after allegations of several sexual assaults and drugging at the Sigma Nu fraternity house.
The string rules were issued in advance of spring "rush," or recruiting for Greek Life. The rules also include a mandate that 100 percent of chapter members complete prevention education workshops and that members agree to abide by a new community standards agreement. In addition, chapters must complete an advanced risk and compliance assessment and implement enhanced security measures.
"About 4,000 of our students participate in fraternity and sorority life at USC, and many say that this is a central part of their USC experience," Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles Zukoski wrote. "Our community must work together to end sexual assault on our campuses. We appreciate everyone who brings forward concerns and reports sexual assault and other issues impacting safety and well-being, and we understand how difficult this can be."
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Back in October, USC officials halted all campus fraternity activities following reports of alleged sexual assault and drugging at parties. Students protested outside the Sigma Nu fraternity house after it was placed on interim suspension, preventing the fraternity from hosting and organizing events, and baring all social gatherings at the frat house.
Students protest outside the Sigma Nu fraternity house after it was placed on interim suspension following reports of alleged sexual assault and drugging at parties. October 25, 2021. (FOX 11)
All fraternity social events at the college were halted in October after the allegations surfaced. The resumption of social activities will not apply to several suspended fraternities.
There is still an ongoing investigation into the sex abuse allegations under Title IX of federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools and educational programs.
In addition to preventing guests from entering bedrooms during parties, the rules call for security guards to be posted at fraternity house entry points. The security companies must be hired in consultation with the university.
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