Presidential task force recommends new policies in light of student death in fall semester

The changes forbid five fraternities from participating in spring recruitment events

by Michael Cline, Assistant News Editor

Members of the Presidential Task Force on Student Activities and Safety, convened in the wake of the death of a San Diego State freshman in the fall, have recommended three student organization policy changes focusing on student health and university transparency, according to a campus-wide email.

The three policies have been approved and adopted by university administration and will take immediate effect.

The Friday email clarified that only recognized fraternities and sororities are able to participate in spring semester recruitment, which will take place from Feb. 2 to 11.

Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Theta Chi have been deemed ineligible for spring 2020 recruitment following a Student Life and Leadership review of the status of all 14 Interfraternity Council-affiliated chapters. The suspension statuses of all IFC chapters are listed on the Student Life and Leadership website.

In November, the university suspended all 14 chapters following the death of 19-year-old freshman Dylan Hernandez, a Phi Gamma Delta pledge.

All IFC chapter-hosted recruitment and educational events for new members are required to take place between 9 a.m and 9 p.m., a policy that will take effect for all councils in fall 2020, according to the SDSU Greek life website. The new policies also stipulate no such events take place as satellite houses, and that an organization advisor — either a faculty and staff member or alumnus — must be present during all events and meetings for new members.

The announcement also said the university will now require records for new member recruitment and chapter plans to abide by all new policies, according to the president’s website.

The university also adopted a Good Samaritan Policy, which removes conduct penalties for certain alcohol and drug violations when recognized student organizations seek timely assistance for medical or emergency personnel. The policy intends to make student health and safety a priority, according to the email.

“The Good Samaritan Policy strives to make clear the responsibility of students in the event of an emergency; encourage students to take appropriate action; and ensure that organizations that do take appropriate action are supported and not met with formal disciplinary sanctions for reporting the issue or incident,” the email said.

In a bid to increase transparency, the university also announced the Student Life and Leadership office will update the community regarding the judicial status of recognized student organizations, with information detailing an overview of allegations, findings and sanctions against organizations, a report of known misconduct and a list of all organizations under interim suspension.

“The site will be regularly updated with publicly accessible information about the judicial status of organizations at SDSU,” the email said.

Members from the two task force groups will meet through the spring semester to review and recommend additional policies and protocol.