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Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life

NIC Health and Safety Initiative

Washington State University Pilot Program

Previous Work

In November 2016, in response to multiple assaults, sexual assaults, falls, and hospitalizations during Halloween Week, the WSU Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council Leadership implemented a social moratorium on all affiliated chapters. As a result the two councils developed the Post Moratorium Action Plan (PMAP), which sought to address community wide issues through risk management and member/chapter education. The NIC and NPC were both requested to review the PMAP prior to a vote by the council’s membership. The PMAP was passed by the IFC in March 2017 and has been utilized as the standard for community accountability and was utilized as part of the application to apply for participation the pilot of the NIC Health and Safety Initiatives in Fall 2017.

Participation in the Pilot Program

In January 2018, a formal agreement was signed by WSU, IFC, and the NIC to participate in the implementation of the new health and safety standards and piloting the use of the “Social Safe” mobile app. Initially our IFC leadership struggled with the expectations of the contract resulting in only three chapters being identified to participate in the pilot program prior to our visit from the NIC in March 2018. During this week long visit from Archie Messersmith, many areas of concern were identified to be able to get the pilot back on track for the full implementation in Fall 2018. These concerns included increasing the number of chapters piloting the Social Safe application, fully implementing the new health and safety standards community-wide, and identifying a plan for the Fall 2018 implementation. These areas of concerns were asked to be addressed before our April 2018 campus visit from Jud Horras and Archie Messersmith.

Recent Updates

On April 2nd 2018, our campus hosted Jud Horras and Archie Messersmith who attended meetings with campus administration, alumni, Panhellenic council leadership, IFC council leadership, and chapter leadership. The focus of these meetings was to better understand the campus structure, clearly articulate the purpose of participation in this program, and to answer questions of the various groups. As of this date, IFC has identified 13 chapters to participate in the spring pilot of the application and to adhere to the new health and safety standards. On April 10th 2018, the IFC proposed legislation in Senate to add the health and safety standards to the IFC bylaws. On April 26th 2018, IFC chapters voted to approve the addition of the new health and safety standards with a vote of 19-3-2 (4 chapters were not present at the meeting). With approval of these bylaw changes, the health and safety standards and use of the social safe application will be fully implemented in phases during Fall 2018.

Next Steps

Following the affirmative vote from the IFC chapters on April 26th 2018, the community has begun to plan in partnership with the NIC the community-wide campus kick-off event for Fall 2018. The kick-off event will take place September 9th 2018 in Pullman, WA. These policies and the use of the social safe app will have an initial soft launch starting August 20th 2018 and will be fully implemented following the kick-off event. The kick-off will include bringing together in/national headquarters members, Alumni, NIC partners, council leadership, and chapter leadership for training, community conversation, and to support chapters regarding issues found during the soft implementation. The soft launch will allow chapters to ensure members are educated about the new policies, understand how their chapter will enforce and ensure policies are followed through at the chapter level, and allow the chapter/council to test the use of the app at events.

Fraternity and sorority chapter facilities are not owned, operated, nor managed by Washington State University. Each chapter facility and Greek letter organization is controlled by its respective national organization, local chapter and/or housing corporation. Students and families should familiarize themselves with the policies and culture of each organization prior to joining. Find more information regarding fraternities and sororities at Washington State University.