Task force recommends changes for KU Greek system

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- A task force has recommended steps for the Greek organizations at the University of Kansas to take to eliminate hazing and to connect more with the Lawrence community.

The 27-member task force established in November 2018 to improve safety and efficiency in the Greek community on the Lawrence campus recently released its recommendations.

In a public message, Chancellor Douglas Girod said the task force strongly supported Greek life despite national concerns about hazing and substance abuse at fraternities and sororities, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

"As I said when we launched the task force, our goal is to ensure that a strong sorority and fraternity system continues to be a valuable part of the student experience - and the task force's recommendations are a great first step toward that goal," Girod wrote.

The group directed its recommendations to the Greek community at large.

One of the main recommendations was to develop a partnership composed of Greek students, alumni, university representatives and representatives from the Lawrence community.

"The truth is, these stakeholders have not always been on the same page, which is largely why we needed to create this task force to begin with," Girod said.

The task force wrote that it "recognizes that hazing still exists at the University of Kansas, and that the Greek Community must eliminate hazing in fraternities and sororities."

To achieve that goal, the recommendations include forming a group to address hazing and provide solutions that consider the root causes of the practice.

In fall 2019, documents related to an investigation into the now-suspended Delta Upsilon fraternity found that some fraternity members were urinated on and struck by other members, and others were caught with cocaine at the chapter's spring break house.

Many other details of the fraternity investigation have been kept from public disclosure.

Other recommendations included returning to Friday morning classes across all disciplines and schools, developing a Greek-specific leadership training program, and increasing funding for a leadership retreat and chapter-specific conferences for the Multicultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council, which comprises nine historically black Greek organizations.

The task force also recommended the Inter-Fraternity Council and Panhellenic Association create a Sorority and Fraternity Alumni Council to provide guidance and advice for undergraduate councils