VCU Fraternities, Sororities Will Not Be Able to Initiate New Members When Classes Resume

Big changes are coming to VCU when students return for the fall semester. The university will not allow Greek organizations to bring on new members for the upcoming school year. It comes after the unfortunate hazing tragedy that claimed the life of student Adam Oakes back in February.

An internal communication from the university put student groups on notice just this week. There will also be no alcohol for official student organization functions for all undergraduate students. Fraternities and sororities on campus can not recruit or initiate any new members until further notice.

“That sounds fair, to be honest, with all the stuff that has happened to fraternities,” student Anastasia Karon said.

Back in February, 19-year-old Adam Oakes died from alcohol poisoning following a fraternity initiation ritual. The university initially suspended and then permanently banned Delta Chi from campus. Now, some two months later, the university is implementing even more restrictions.

“…We understand that you may find these developments disappointing, and appreciate your patience and grace as we work to put the staff, policies, and procedures in place that will best serve our fraternity and sorority community and its continuance at VCU…” officials said in a letter to students.

“I don’t blame them. I get it,” student Sam Wilson said.

Some of the organizations aren’t taking the news very well, although a fraternity advisor NBC12 made contact with Friday said he wasn’t available for an interview.

“They feel the need to start enforcing things, but in reality, I don’t think anything is really going to change,” student Thomas Gordon said.

“I feel like if they want alcohol, they’re going to get alcohol somewhere else…Maybe [the restrictions] will help [with] peer pressure a little bit because fraternities and sororities are a lot of people wanting to fit in,” Smith continued.

“I’m away from that whole Greek life thing, so I don’t really understand it one way or the other,” student Ryan Yucha said.

School leaders said fraternities and sororities will still be able to operate this year – they just can’t bring in new members.

There have been no criminal charges in Oakes’s death. Richmond Police officials said Friday that the case remains under investigation.

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