April 12, 2017
After a recent temporary suspension of Kappa Zeta, Pitt-Johnstown is home to only one social sorority out to four social fraternities.
Finance and Administration Vice President Amy Buxbaum, also a Campus Title IX coordinator, said that there is no violation of equal opportunity for men and women.
“(Pitt-Johnstown) does not organize these groups or recruit for them. We simply provide equal opportunities for both sororities and fraternities to organize on campus.
“This is different than varsity athletics programs, which we actively organize and direct, which are subject to Title IX.”
A memorandum from the federal Department of Education, dated May 3, 1989, noted the difference between social Greek life and professional, service or honorary Greek life. Title IX, the memo says, applies to service and honorary organization in that they may not exclude members based on gender.
“Under Title IX and the implementing regulation, the membership practices of social fraternities and sororities are specifically excluded from coverage if the active membership consists primarily of students in attendance at institutes of higher education, and the fraternity or sorority is exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue Code.”
Pitt-Johnstown administrators thus do not guarantee the presence of equal Greek life opportunities on campus. Student Affairs Vice President Shawn Brooks said such matters stay on the student level, unless things go awry.
According to Brooks, there have been as many as four social sororities on campus in recent years, but two have been suspended for possible hazing, and one has been removed by its national sponsor.
Brooks said that those looking to organize a social fraternity or sorority on campus could connect with the national organization they wish as a sponsor, then petition the Pan-Helenic council.
“It’s a separate process for recognition. It doesn’t rise to the administrative level. Our role is very limited unless things go absolutely haywire.”
Currently, the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta is eligible to return to campus if they wish to recolonize, a process that takes about half a year, Brooks said.
Greek Affairs Director Shaun Hemphill did not respond to attempts to contact him.
The president of the remaining sorority on campus, Phi Sigma Sigma, declined comment.