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Despite suspensions, GBD likely not affected

Despite the uncertainty that has plagued Miami's Greek community for the last three and half weeks, it appears this year's Green Beer Day will play out as usual, Greek members say.

"It's interesting because I don't think Green Beer Day will be affected a whole ton," IFC fraternity member and junior Michael Serio said. "It'll be a lot less organized, definitely because every year there's this list that goes out for all of the official fraternity parties that are happening."

For the last 65 years, Miami students have been celebrating Green Bear Day (GBD), an all-day drinking affair the Thursday before spring break which starts around 1 a.m. and lasts roughly until 5 p.m. the following afternoon.

While there will not be as many official parties scheduled due to outstanding fraternity suspensions, word of mouth travels fast, Serio said.

This past week, Alpha Sigma Phi (Alpha Sig) and Sigma Pi were cleared from their social suspensions, Interfraternity Council (IFC) president Stephen Golonka said.

They join twelve fraternities which were already approved to operate as usual: Beta Theta Pi (Beta), Alpha Chi Rho, Delta Tau Delta (Delt), Delta Sigma Phi (Delta Sig), Chi Psi, Delta Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), Delta Upsilon (DU), Alpha Epsilon Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha (Lambda Chi), Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) and Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapp).

Sophomore sorority member Sara Foley said she is not surprised that the majority of the organizations initially suspended have been reinstated, and doesn't believe it will change much of how GBD is celebrated.

"IFC released a list of the organizations that are recognized on campus and our Standards Chair lets us know a few others you're supposed to stay away from in our eyes, when it comes to GBD," Foley said. "Everyone's careful on this day because they know how much pressure, not just Greek life, but Miami is also under."

IFC announced a sweeping social suspension of all Miami fraternities on Feb. 20, and, about a week and a half later, a dozen fraternities were cleared from their suspensions. Now, just 10 fraternities remain on suspension.

Serio said that Miami's Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR) has been investigating each individual chapter's hazing allegations and then calling in the executive members of each organization along with their national representatives.

"From what I heard OSCER brought the charges to our nationals, and then the nationals discussed with [the fraternity's] executive members in private," Serio said. "If it's more of systematic issue, then it's OSCER's problem, but if it's just one individual who's causing the problems, then it's more of an internal affairs issue and [nationals deals with it]."

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Lt. Lara Fening of the Oxford Police Department (OPD) is also unconvinced that the remaining 10 fraternities still under social suspension -- meaning they are prohibited from hosting parties -- will have any effect on the upcoming GBD festivities.

"They're still going to be using annex houses, and they can still have a party. It just won't be under the umbrella of that organization," Fening said. "There will still be a group of friends that has chosen to hang out with each other for the last few years. Just because the name of their friend group has changed or been removed doesn't mean the parties will."

Serio said that, despite the recent suspensions, he doesn't expect any major changes.

"I think if anything, if they want to do a slate wipe, it's going to be more trimming than a complete destruction of the entire Greek life system," he said. "As much as you hate or you love it, it is a core part of the Miami culture."