VCU hires consulting firm in Greek life review

Delta Chi removed the letters from its fraternity house on Cary Street. The fraternity was suspended by VCU after the death of freshman Adam Oakes. Photo by Wessam Hazaymeh

Sahara Sriraman, Contributing Writer

VCU’s Division of Student Affairs has hired a consulting firm that specializes in fraternities and sororities to conduct a review of the university’s Greek life following the death of freshman Adam Oakes, according to a release sent on Monday.

Dyad Strategies serves schools and universities nationwide, offering courses on recruitment, hazing and sexual assault, according to its website.

“This independent review is a crucial step to ensure fraternity and sorority life at VCU becomes a national model that promotes health and safety and creates a climate of respect and inclusion that is conducive to academic success,” stated Charles Klink, senior vice provost for student affairs, in the release.

The announcement sent to students and employees was an update to VCU’s independent review of Greek life prompted by Oakes’ death. Oakes was found dead by police on Feb. 27 at a residence on West Clay Street, about six blocks from VCU’s campus. His family said he was a victim of hazing by the university’s Delta Chi fraternity chapter.

The review of Greek life will be split into two periods: a quantitative evaluation of all fraternities and sororities on campus and a qualitative inspection of those organizations, according to the release.

Dyad Strategies will begin the review in late March with a community survey, followed by a visit to campus to organize interviews and create focus groups in April, according to the release. The firm will submit findings and suggestions to VCU in June.

“Cultural and risk assessment examines factors that influence member and organizational experiences including the sense of belonging, quality of relationships, alcohol use, social status, hazing, openness to diversity, commitment, identification, sexual assault mindset, and motivation to join, among others,” Klink stated.

Dyad Strategies has conducted similar assessments on nearly 100 college campuses, according to the release.

Throughout the firm’s assessment, updates will be posted online at VCU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life Independent Review page.

VCU urges those with information regarding Oakes’ death to contact Richmond or VCU police.

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