Sigma Chi Addresses University of Virginia Administration
President Teresa A. Sullivan
P.O. Box 400224
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4224
Dear President Sullivan and Administration of the University of Virginia:
The Sigma Chi International Fraternity leadership has intently followed the developments surrounding your campus throughout the last several weeks. We have monitored the news cycles, engaged in conversations with the leaders of our local chapter, communicated with alumni leaders, and discussed the next steps we will take with other leaders of the Greek-letter community on the international stage.
Sigma Chi supports the joint statement issued by the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic Conference in both spirit and content. In the interest of brevity, we will refrain from reiterating the position taken in those communications except to say that we are placing the entirety of our support behind it. As a member of the NIC, and as a partner of yours since we initially placed a chapter on your campus in 1860, we strongly request that you lift the suspension of Greek life on your campus and open your doors to your international fraternity and sorority partners who stand ready to assist you in making the change you desire to see on your campus.
We believe that Sigma Chi has a responsibility and an obligation to be leaders of the Greek-letter world on both the local and international levels and we take that responsibility seriously. Through a spirit of collaboration with our campus-based professional partners and coupled with the implementation of our world-class programming, we are beginning to see real, substantive and enduring changes in the culture of today’s students as it pertains to their everyday decision-making and engagement as leaders of the Greek-letter movement. Through this approach, we have come to understand the occasional necessity of punitive sanctions placed on those who engage in wrongdoing. However, the trials we have endured as one of the leading men’s fraternal organizations in the world have helped us understand that we have a moral obligation to educate when punishment is not the appropriate tactic. We ask that you join us in crafting a Greek-wide educational plan to change the culture on your campus in lieu of continuing to pursue the punitive suspension measures that have been in place for far too long.
In addition, we have learned that the University of Virginia seeks to make changes to the FOA in place with its campus fraternities. While we appreciate and support the spirit of the proposed changes, we must express our great opposition to two of the items included in that request: the unfettered access to private housing by police entities and the requirement for chapters to make breathalyzers available during their social events.
Frankly speaking, residents living in a private facility are entitled to constitutional protections which prevent unfettered police access to their home without appropriate reason and documentation granting access being acquired beforehand. Sigma Chi does not believe that this is a reasonable compromise for the student-leaders of the University of Virginia.
Regarding the latter, we believe that requiring undergraduate students to assume the role of policing their friends with breathalyzers is an unnecessary elevation from the responsibilities they presently have when they consciously decide to invite other students into their homes for social gatherings and, further, that educating students on appropriate risk management practices will more appropriately accomplish the desired ends already communicated by the administration of the University of Virginia.
We sincerely look forward to working with you, as partners, to return the prominence of the Greek-letter community at the University of Virginia to its well-deserved place.
Michael A. Greenberg
Grand Consul/International President
Michael J. Church