Panhellenic Council lifts restrictions put on disaffiliated fraternities

Kayla Baskevitch/File
Phi Gamma Delta, one of the disaffiliated fraternities, is located on the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Channing Circle. UC Berkeley’s Panhellenic Council decided to lift restrictions on three disaffiliated fraternities that agreed to comply with a list of demands, including Phi Gamma Delta.

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UC Berkeley’s Panhellenic Council decided Tuesday to lift restrictions put in place last month regarding interactions between sorority sisters and the campus’s disaffiliated fraternities.

The council, which represents affiliated campus sororities, had refused as of Jan. 29 to interact with any disaffiliated fraternities until they agreed to comply with a list of demands. Three fraternities — Delta Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Psi and Phi Gamma Delta — agreed.

The restrictions include a ban on “exchanges,” a type of social event, between sororities under the purview of the Panhellenic Council and disaffiliated fraternities, which is still in place. Also, the council forbade sorority chapters from engaging in “social activity,” including the consumption of alcohol, on the property of any disaffiliated fraternities, though individual members may now associate with disaffiliated fraternities that have agreed to their demands.

The agreement came after several reports of incidents at fraternities in the fall. In October, UCPD said five individuals reported they were given “roofies” and sexually assaulted at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. 20-year-old UC Davis student Vaibhev Loomba died from alcohol poisoning at Zeta Psi in November.

The demands included the need for at least five sober fraternity members to be present at each event and a bartender who is sober and over the age of 21.

Ariana Naaseh, president of the Panhellenic Council, said in an email that she was impressed with the cooperation of the fraternities who met the council’s new restrictions.

“Their social chairs, risk managers and presidents have all expressed that they are equally concerned with the safety of their own members and guests at their on site events at their houses and are very open to communicating with us in order to continue making their homes safe,” she said in an email.

Of the four disaffiliated fraternities on campus, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one that has not been confirmed to be in compliance with the demands. The fraternity could not be reached after multiple requests for comment from several of its members, including the president.

Nicolas Jaber, a Phi Gamma Delta brother and campus junior, said that while his fraternity is happy to comply with the demands, the ban vilifies unaffiliated fraternities.

“It’s hard for fraternities to stop illegal things,” he said. “People who are not allowed at parties cause the problems.”

Jaber said that while he respects the council’s demands, the problem is multifaceted. One of his fraternity’s goals is promoting safety, he said, and Phi Gamma Delta is doing what it can to follow the official regulations implemented on it by its national charter while also collaborating with the Panhellenic Council and the campus.

Naaseh said the Panhellenic Council plans to monitor the unaffiliated fraternities for compliance throughout the semester and indefinitely.

Contact name Ishaan Srivastava and Whitney Brymwitt at [email protected].

A previous version of this article may have implied that in February 2015, UC Berkeley’s Panhellenic Council lifted a ban on exchanges with disaffiliated fraternities. In fact, the council has not lifted this ban.