The administration has placed a moratorium, effective immediately, on all events held by Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) fraternities until a team comprised of administrative officials and IFC members completes a plan to ensure safety at future fraternity events.
This action follows a vote by the IFC at their Nov. 3 meeting to ban open parties at fraternity houses for the rest of the semester and to impose more sober monitors at events. After Dean of Student Life Terry Martinez called on fraternity members to take action in light of an alleged sexual assault at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) house on Nov. 2, the IFC instituted a ban that would have allowed mixers, date parties and formals to continue. The moratorium will not permit any social events at fraternity houses until further action is taken.
A JHBroadcast email signed by Martinez, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin G. Shollenberger and Provost Robert C. Lieberman that was sent to the community Monday night explained the administration's reasoning behind the moratorium.
“We want to be clear that the university deeply appreciates the IFC’s work last week to adopt interim measures for controlling social activities sponsored by member chapters... This was a commendable step, and we in the administration thank the IFC and its leaders for taking it," the statement reads. "However, ... in order for these measures to be effective and consistent, we need to work together on an implementation plan. There needs to be agreement, for instance, on the standards for party monitors to enforce and on training for the monitors themselves."
This is a departure from Martinez’s position directly following the IFC's original vote, when she praised the group's decision as a sound step.
“The IFC was willing to say no fraternities will have open events, and then at the last minute, the administration kind of reversed course… [Martinez] initially agreed to the policy that the IFC made, and then the administration changed its mind,” IFC President Tom Laughlin said.
Martinez wrote that this reversal came after consulting with other Hopkins officials.
“I have discussed your proposal with colleagues in the University administration, who are also appreciative of your efforts. The conclusion that emerged from those discussions, however, was that we will need some time to work with you on the details of an implementation plan,” Martinez wrote in an email to the IFC on Thursday that was obtained by The News-Letter.
On Wednesday, Martinez wrote in an email to The News-Letter that the University will make further decisions following a report from the Alcohol Strategy Group after this semester.
“There will be an opportunity for us to engage in fuller conversations with students about safety once the Alcohol Strategy Group finishes its work and makes its recommendations,” Martinez wrote. “I expect to have those by the end of the semester. I welcome student ideas.”
The administration did not communicate with the Student Government Association (SGA) about the moratorium.
“SGA had no role in the decision whatsoever,” SGA President Janice Bonsu said. “We’re concerned that decisions are being made without SGA input.”
Last spring, the University came under fire for their response to allegations of a gang rape at the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity. The University failed to notify the community of the incident in a timely manner and is currently under investigation by the Department of Education for its response to alleged incidents of sexual assault and for a possible violation of the Clery Act.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include information from the JHBroadcast email sent Monday, Nov. 11.