VCU begins Greek life cessation period following Adam Oakes’ death

VCU freshman Adam Oakes was found dead on Feb. 27 by officials at the 100 Block of West Clay Street. Photo by Wessam Hazaymeh

Sahara Sriraman, Contributing Writer

Leaders of Greek life organizations sent an email to all members on Friday detailing a cessation of university fraternities and sororities, as well as the steps those groups are now required to take. 

The announcement follows recent national outcry over freshman Adam Oakes, who was found dead on Feb. 27 in a house on West Clay Street, six blocks from the Monroe Park campus. Oakes’ family said a Delta Chi fraternity hazing event caused his death.

“He’s an only child, so he was seeking that social piece of finding his place and finding his brothers, and that was what he was looking for when he tried to join Delta Chi,” said Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White.

All Greek life social events are forbidden for the remainder of the spring semester, according to the email sent to students. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will reach out to each individual fraternity and sorority to schedule chapter meetings. 

The message stated that all chapters are required to submit information regarding their specific groups, including:

  • The organization’s anti-hazing and risk-management rules.
  • A list of all present leaders and official members.
  • A list of all alumni and faculty advisers.
  • Constitution or bylaws of both the national organization and VCU chapter.
  • New member education and membership-intake policy.
  • Outline of the organization’s intake process.
  • The organization’s present insurance certificate.

Any chapters or individual students found to have violated the law and/or University policies will be held accountable and may be subject to a range of disciplinary actions, including removal from the University,” the email stated.

VCU’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is located in the VCU Student Commons. Photo by Wessam Hazaymeh

The email outlined details of the cessation, including the halting of intake events on campus for all organizations, evaluating groups’ intake processes and prohibiting in-person events for the semester.

Greek life chapters must complete training webinars on RamsConnect before they can recommence normal recruitment activities. The training will begin Monday and focus on topics including hazing and alcohol. The last day to complete the training is March 31. The full list of training dates is located on RamsConnect.

Other requirements include individually reviewing all Greek life organizations on campus and communicating with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life when a chapter completes its requirements. 

For all leaders, there is an additional “Positive Organization Expectations Conversation” they must complete, which centers around how Greek life members should behave in order to adhere to VCU and FSL’s principles.

“We recognize that not all students involved in fraternity and sorority life engage in behavior that violates our community norms,” the email stated.

Communication between current members and new members will be limited and mediated directly by chapter advisers and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the email stated.

The email was signed by Greek life leaders who oversee all fraternity and sorority organizations on campus, including the National Pan-Hellenic Council of VCU, the College Panhellenic Council of VCU, the Interfraternity Council of VCU, the Multicultural Greek Council of VCU and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

1 Comment

  1. We’ve seen this over and over again for many years. It never works. We are sick of their lies, secrecy and deceptions. The fox guarding the henhouse is stupidity and these deaths will continue along with the horrible emotional abuse Greek organizations inflict and perpetuate. These are criminal acts and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All Greek and secret organizations have thrived for years covering up crimes and emotional abuse, including those from our government in Washington (i.e.Freedom Caucus) to our Fraternal police organizations, college Greek Fraternities & Sororities, etc.We condemn Gangs and Gang membership and tell our kids they are bad, yet we support these Greek and secret organizations that use the the same abusive tactics. If we don’t stop this, we are nothing but hypocrits. Shame on these people for acting like they are doing something when they are just trying to save face, and shame on us for believing them and for doing little or nothing for years! DEADS NOT WORDS!

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