CARBONDALE, IL — Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will have fewer Greek life options this semester. Two Greek organizations are suspended after months of investigations revealed hazing.
Greek life member Colton Newlin said he joined a fraternity to be a part of a community and make new friends. He said hazing incidents give Greek organizations a bad name.
"It creates a culture of fear and disrespect towards members," said Newlin.
Phi Sigma Kappa was found to have conducted hazing that included paddle beatings, forced servitude, and making pledges drink goldfish in cups of vodka. Sigma Kappa was found to have hosted events where fraternity pledges were hazed and to have serenaded pledges in a way that did not fit with university standards. The fraternity was suspended for four years, and the sorority suspended until August 2021.
Newlin said he does support the punishment for the fraternity, but believes the sorority wasn't held to the same standards.
"I don't think the suspension is anywhere near long enough. I think a four-year suspension would have been better and cleared out the sorority, and they could have emerged and reinvented themselves," said Newlin.
SIU Student Affairs Chancellor Lori Stettler said the university has zero tolerance for hazing.
"We do new member, or Neo 101 training with all of our fraternity and sororities. We discuss hazing, general fraternity risk management, sorority education and what the consequences are," said Stettler.
Newlin said changes will come when organizations become more accountable.
"It starts with training and with educating the members, teaching them about ways to engage with each other without hazing," said Newlin.
The suspension lengths for the fraternity and sorority are different because the sorority appealed its sanctions and agreed to complete a list of training and educational activities.