Local News

Feb 17, 2010 2:44 AM by Monica Quintero

New rush plan for fraternities at Cal Poly

The 2008 death of Cal Poly fraternity pledge Carson Starkey has the university taking action.

The Interfraternity Council has come up with a new plan regarding the rush process. It will bar students from joining fraternities during their first quarter of enrollment. The change will take effect in the fall quarter of 2010 and will apply to both freshmen and transfer students.

You may recall, an alleged hazing incident claimed the life of freshman Carson Starkey. LJ Lumpkin, fraternity member, said, "I think we've all learned from that." The tragic death happened while Starkey was pledging a fraternity back in December of 2008. Police said it was alcohol-related. Andrew Farrell, Interfraternity Council President, said, "This is a pretty pivotal moment in greek life at Cal Poly." The rule is stirring mixed reactions. Lumpkin said, "I think there's going to be negatives and positives." It's just one of a series of changes that will take place for the university's greek life. Farrell said, "Fraternities are in the process of, or have completely eliminated any elements that could be construed as hazing or any elements that are not directly tied to the values of our organizations." He said fraternities will have a more comprehensive education process when it comes to teaching new members about academics, social life and the subjects of drugs and alcohol. Farrell said, "We're ready to work and really prove to not only the campus, but the community that we are who we say we are."

The fraternities are also working with San Luis Obispo police on changes meant to cut down on disturbances from students partying. But getting to this point has been quite a process, Cal Poly administrators and students leaders have been working on these changes since early 2009. University officials are hoping this change will help students acclimate and establish themselves academically before taking part in a time-consuming social organization.

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