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VCU Reviewing Greek Life Following Student Death

VCU Library
Greek Life at Virginia Commonwealth University is under growing scrutiny following the death of a student in late February. (Photo: Alan Rodriguez Espinoza/VPM News)

Virginia Commonwealth University will hold an “independent, comprehensive review” of Greek Life organizations on campus. This follows the death of a student allegedly linked to a hazing incident.

In a blog post, VCU President Michael Rao says he’s directed the university’s Division of Student Affairs to conduct the review. He says VCU will investigate issues related to hazing and general recruitment practices. 

It will also look into matters of alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual violence. In addition, VCU will review fraternity and sorority governance, their incident reporting processes and general practices related to inclusion and safety.

“The goal is for something like this to never happen again and to build a national model that promotes health and safety and creates a climate of respect and inclusion that is conducive to academic success,” Rao said in the post.

The university’s review of Greek Life is separate from an investigation into the death of student Adam Oakes, which is being led by Richmond Police and assisted by VCU Police. 

Last month, Oakes was found dead, allegedly after a night of hazing by the fraternity Delta Chi. VCU has since suspended the group, and both the university and the national Delta Chi organization have sent cease-and-desist orders to the VCU chapter of the fraternity. 

Some VCU students say a suspension is not enough, and they are calling for Delta Chi to be permanently expelled from campus. Others have called for all Greek Life organizations to be removed from VCU altogether.

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