Like any other student organization on the UTRGV campus, fraternities and sororities are expected to follow a code of conduct.
Douglas Stoves, associate dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said the rules of conduct for any organization regardless of having an affiliation with a fraternity or sorority are outlined in the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s student code of conduct.
Stoves said the code of conduct is not Greek specific.
The code is in accordance with the university’s honor code. The Vaquero Honor Code consists of three principles: honesty, integrity and respect. These principles apply to all members of the university community.
“There are additional things each organization has to meet,” Stoves said.
“For instance, participating in risk management and other trainings that they have available for all organizations.”
He said there are certain elements the trainings have to include, such as Title IX issues or sexual assault awareness and alcohol.
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities, according to UTRGV’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.
“It’s all the areas that have been identified for organizations as particular risks,” said the associate dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities. “If they are a member of a national [Greek] organization, there is probably an additional training that they have to do as well, but that is outside of the university.”
Rolando Gonzalez, student program adviser for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said every organization has to abide by the H.O.P., or Handbook of Operations.
Gonzalez said every organization must go through V-Link for re-registration and risk management.
“ They have different procedures that they have to complete every academic year and go through the process of verification,” he said, adding that if the organization does not comply it is “frozen.”
“They have to meet with us to get unfrozen,” Gonzalez said. “They visit our office and they meet one on one with the organization coordinator.”
Gonzalez said the consequences of not following the code of conduct depends on what the handbook instructs.
“We always refer back to the handbook,” he said. “For the most part, we will take precautionary stances on it, but it is never one person making the decision. We work collaboratively and we determine what the next procedures are, according to the Handbook of Operations.”
The university is working toward creating a new fraternity and sorority life handbook.
Gonzalez said the university doesn’t have the exact count on the number of conduct violations by Greek organizations or members that have been reported to the office.