Greek Life Back on Campus

Greek organizations were kicked off the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College on April 25, 1988 and returned to campus after they spent the previous five years underground. By the end of March 1994, many of the sororities and fraternities had individually applied and received reinstatement. The Eppies did not apply for reinstatement in March of 1994 because the remaining group members were all seniors; however they were revived in 1995. There were three requirements that groups had to complete before it was considered a college organization again.

The first thing the groups had to do was follow the college’s procedure in applying for recognition as a group. This includes submitting a financial statement, getting a faculty or staff adviser, explaining the membership selection process, agreeing that members, sophomores or above, are in good standing with the college and maintain a G.P.A. of 2.2 or above. Also the groups need to submit a charter which addresses issues of racism, sexism, elitism, substance abuse and initiation practices.

Secondly, each group had to convince the Student Organizations Committee, which is charged with approving or denying recognition, that they understood and were committed to community responsibility. Particularly, each group had to show that some aspects of the groups have changed, such as the actions that got the Greek organizations kicked off in the late 80’s. To assure the dangerous behaviors did not return, the groups had to have an effective internal governance system in place and have a member in the Inter Greek Senate. The groups had to agree to abide by college policies, rules and regulations, as well as local and state laws and eliminate hazing. Furthermore, all Greek groups had to agree to hold rush in the fall and have the events of initiation and calendar of rush approved by the Inter Greek Senate. The groups also had to agree to not have any activities in the college dining room, chapel or the library and must get permission to hold activities in the dorm. Lastly all groups had to provide all pledges and active members with a list of these stipulations.

The third thing that was changed when Greek organizations were allowed to be recognized by the campus was they had to establish policies and procedures. Now the Greeks have to have policies regarding rush, hazing and alcohol consumption written out in a group constitution as well as in the IGS charter. The IGS instituted “activity sheets” which are detailed sheets that must be filed with the IGS prior to each group’s activity. These sheets ask for the date, time, duration, location and purpose of each event requiring the names of two organization members who will serve as safety and security officers at the event.

Even though there was considerable change when the Gustavus Greeks came back on campus they did not totally abandon their past. For example, many of the fraternities still sing the same songs as they did before the banishment. The changes that were made in the Greek organizations were a result of changing times and people.