How fraternities at WMU, GVSU are tackling hazing head-on

The campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. (file photo courtesy WMU)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Despite the suspension of fraternity social events on the University of Michigan’s campus, Greek life on Western Michigan University’s campus is alive and well, according to its leaders.

While reports of wild parties, alcohol abuse and sexual assaults have given fraternities on other campuses like U of M a bad name, WMU Interfraternity Council President Evan Kohler says things are different at his school.

“All of the fraternities on campus right now are on good standing with the interfraternity council and the university,” he said.

Kohler says his council has a strict no-hazing policy.

“We take it by a case-by-case scenario,” he said.

In fact, fraternities are required to send their new members to Greek 101, where they learn about hazing, alcohol abuse and other related topics.

“And we require 90 percent of their new members to be… in attendance at that,” Kohler said. “Otherwise, their chapter can be subjected to fines and other punishments deemed necessary by us.”

There haven’t been any problems with those who attend in the last three years, according to Kohler.

He says fraternities support the community. His fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, helps out The Ability Experience.

“My fraternity will go around and we’ll build ramps at places,” he said. “We’ll structurally change entrances for buildings because people have lack of access to them.”

Fraternities offer support and resources for college students, too.

“When [new students] come here to this big university of 25,000 people, they’re kind of overwhelmed,” Kohler said. “And Greek life can kind of be that little safe haven for them.”

A representative from Grand Valley State University told 24 Hour News 8 the school holds its fraternities to high standards. In fact, two fraternities have been removed from the university this year because of alcohol and hazing.