WKU’s IFC changes recruitment control bylaws

Tyler Prochazka

The Interfraternity Council passed, with 12 to 2 vote, a revision to its bylaws on Monday to shift the responsibility of recruitment patrol from the executive board to the judicial board.

The revision was due in large part to complaints by fraternity members who said they were being unequally represented under the Executive Board’s oversight of recruitment patrol, according to Blake Lambert, the vice president of IFC judicial affairs.

Only some fraternities have positions on the executive board, whereas every chapter has representation on the judicial board.

“Some fraternities thought we were picking on them,” Lambert said.

IFC President John Hughes said the revision would help to build trust between the IFC and the fraternities, which he said had been strained over the last few years.

“I feel like this is a big step towards establishing that connection,” he said.

In September, Pi Kappa Alpha and Delta Tau Delta fraternities had Homecoming pairings revoked in a ruling by the IFC judicial board after being found guilty of throwing recruitment parties where alcohol was present.

IFC bylaws call the presence of alcohol at recruitment parties a “major offense” and after a third violation, the issue will be sent to the university Judicial Office.

The new revision puts accountability into the hands of the fraternities themselves, Hughes said.

Alissa Mansfield, the coordinator of student activities for Greek affairs, said the revision will not substantially change the implementation of patrolling. It is primarily meant to make sure the process is fair.

“We want to make sure all of the fraternities’ interests are looked at,” she said.

The new bylaws will go into effect in January before spring recruitment starts, Mansfield said.

According to the revision, the intent of the patrol board is to “ensure the quality of recruitment for potential new members and fraternal organizations.”

The board’s task is to “patrol on and off campus recruitment activities of fraternal organizations” and report any violations of the IFC bylaws. The board will meet once before and once after the recruitment process and will meet if the vice president of recruitment and vice president of judicial affairs calls the board.

Lambert said members of the judicial board will now be tasked with patrolling parties based on tips from identified sources. Hughes said the patrol board will have a particular set of guidelines and will attend every recruitment event.

However, Hughes emphasized that the focus of the IFC is not to patrol the fraternities, but rather to help them in their goals. 

“I feel like that’s been lost over the years,” Hughes said.

The revision states that complaints will be handled as per IFC constitutional procedures. In order to find a fraternity guilty, two IFC council members must witness the infraction, or there must be “sufficient” evidence to prove the infraction to be true, according to IFC bylaws.

Members of accused fraternities cannot participate in the deliberations regarding their charges.

Lambert said the revision is a positive development because it will prevent “blame games” by fraternities that are caught violating the bylaws.

For Hughes, this revision is one of the first steps in fulfilling his reason for running for IFC president.

“I want to show people that things can change for the better,” he said.