Greeks feel the effects of pledging ban
Greek organizations are starting to feel the effects of last year’s decision to ban pledge activities for this semester.
Last year’s ban, which came after CSUN was informed of two possible hazing-related incidents, prevents chapters from bringing in new members during rush week an event which usually brings in the majority of new members.
“Rush is the life blood of our fraternity,” said Khashayar Moshtahedian, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. “With smaller numbers coming in [the] semester, we will have fewer members. The budget is going to be drastically smaller. Rush is what keeps us going. Without it, it’s only a matter of time before numbers start going down.”
Josh Blank, a current member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and the fraternity’s former rush chair, said that he appreciates CSUN’s approach to the hazing situation and is glad that the Greek community was not be forced to disbanded all together.
However, Blank said that the banning of Rush Week is unfair to the Greek community and all chapters should not be punished for the choices of two fraternities.
“I am hoping that this will make every organization think twice about their new member events,” Blank said. “I feel like this ban could make people not want to join the Greek system and they could be missing out on one of the most important moments of their lives.”
Moshtahedian said that Greek organizations have been unfairly targeted since the concerns of hazing were brought to the school’s attention. In September, several chapters had their billboards vandalized with graffiti that read “R.I.P. A.V.” at the time DeAndre Pierce, president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, suspected that “A.V.” stood for Armando Villa the student who died during a pledge activity over the summer).
Moshtahedian says that part of the problem is that people group together all Greek organization and do not understand Greek life.
“Many of the misconceptions about the Greek system is what is seen in movies,” Blank said. “Many people think all we do is party and that is it. We do have social events [and] every year we raise millions of dollars for philanthropies.
Blanks says that many people do not realize chapters and their member log many hours in community service and are expected to maintain a higher GPA than most other students.
As far as any plans to reinstate pledge activity Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff associate vice president for student life says new member recruitment will only resume once the University feels confident that the process are held to the highest standards and are primarily concerned with the safety and well being of the incoming pledges.
“We have asked the Greek community to use this time as an opportunity to work together and identify strategies to help ensure student safety and end hazing here at CSUN.” said Ruelas-Bischoff. “This is an opportunity for fraternities and sororities to step forward and work together in order to make the changes that need to be made in their recruitment and new member intake processes so that hazing ends.”