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Concerns over Greek Life Culture at Bloomsburg University

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University recently did a review of its Greek life program. The study looked at the impact of sororities and fraternities on campu...

BLOOMSBURG -- Bloomsburg University recently did a review of its Greek life program. The study looked at the impact of sororities and fraternities on campus.

AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development did the review of Bloomsburg University's Greek life program. The review uncovered concerns over the university's Greek Life culture and block party, an annual event organized by students every spring.

According to the review, from 2012 to 2017, there were, "25 formal complaints of alleged code of conduct violations involving fraternities and sororities."

Those complaints included hazing, alcohol violations, sexual harassment, drugs, fighting, and illegal pledging.

"I think that we have some work to do," said vice president of student affairs Dione Somerville. "When you look at those recommendations and you read the report in its entirety, there are definitely some challenges that we need to address. Part of why we released the report in its entirety: we wanted to be transparent with our community on and off campus."

Greek life members tell Newswatch 16 that some of the recent incidents involving other Greek life organizations that have made national headlines have forced them to reassess their practices.

"We make sure that the organizations know what they can and cannot do. I think that's the most important thing. People are going to do what they want to do anyway, but as long as we have those rules in place and we have the documentation, we're covering ourselves and we're doing everything we can do correctly," said Christian Marks, interfraternity council member.

The annual block party isn't affiliated with the university. Students tell Newswatch 16 that they want the event to continue, but admit there are ways to make it safer.

"Personally, I'm in Phi Sigma Sigma and we block off our yard for block party, so that those risky things can't really happen," said Maggie Farrer, Phi Sigma Sigma. "I don't think that that's true that Greek life is the cause for block party and I do think we can do things to improve the safety."

According to the study, there are between 250 and 350 arrests during the block party every year. The university tells us that 80 percent of those arrests are not Bloomsburg students.