Updated Feb. 7, 2022:
To the Optimist Editorial Board:
Since December, ACU’s administration has been meeting with sponsors, officers and members of Galaxy to conduct intentional training around diversity, community membership and leadership. Galaxy’s infractions resulted from deeper cultural concerns that highlighted the need for organizational change, which suspension alone would not address. In addition to focused training, the fraternity’s suspension terms also require members to complete 1,000 hours of community service (approved and documented through Student Life). To date, Galaxy has completed 552 hours of community service and over 80 members are consistently participating in substantive training that will continue into the fall. The ACU administration is focused on ensuring deep change within Galaxy, leading to full restoration as a campus organization. Thus far, Galaxy has actively engaged in the restoration process and we are encouraged by the growth of its leaders and members. Finally, Student Life has investigated all reports of “underground” or prohibited activities and have yet to find evidence of any violation of the fraternity’s suspension terms.
Student Life has continually gone under heavy scrutiny this year after changes in the rushing and joining processes, the shift from pledging to New Member Orientation and suspension of one of the largest men’s fraternities, Galaxy.
With all of the heat ACU Greek Life is currently taking, you’d think they would be careful to double down on the rules, specifically in the terms of Galaxy’s suspension. But somehow, in the midst of it all, G*L*XY has slipped through the cracks.
G*L*XY, a not-so-undercover cover up for Galaxy that has been created, has hosted events and even produced merchandise, seemingly underneath the noses of administration.
As stated very clearly in the terms of Galaxy’s suspension, the group “will have no orientation/pledging activities, and no new members will be added; no intramural teams, no participation in the Sing Song, Grubs, Formals or other university events.”
While there is no recorded evidence of NMO activities, new members or plans to be in Sing Song, photos of G*L*XY events have been posted across social media and students have no problem sporting their new merchandise on campus.
The fact that the activities are under a different name and taking place off campus shouldn’t distract from the fact that the organization is publicly breaking the rules of their suspension.
Along with breaking the terms of their suspension, the general attitude toward the fraternity on campus has created issues within this semester’s prospective members. Approximately 98 men registered to rush and join this spring, a small number compared to recent years past. Though there may be many reasons for the small number, one of them is that some freshmen are “waiting for Galaxy.”
By not upholding the strict sanctions put on the fraternity, the attitude toward the events that had them suspended in the first place are not attitudes of aversion; Rather, students are excited about potential hazing, trespassing and “destruction of private property” as stated in the suspension details.
All of this brings up two questions: is Student Life aware of what’s happening and if so, why is Galaxy seemingly getting special treatment by being turned a blind eye?
Just over two years prior to Galaxy’s suspension, men’s fraternity Sub-T 16 was suspended indefinitely for the harm of a student during a club gathering. During their suspension, Sub-T 16 was practically ostracized from the ACU community and administration made sure to squash any public activities put on by the fraternity. During their suspension, the terms were upheld in the manner of seriousness Greek Life suspensions are expected to be upheld with.
It’s one thing to take an underground pledge class, have events in total secrecy and get away with breaking terms of suspension, but G*L*XY is doing so publicly.
No fraternity or sorority should get special treatment in any suspension circumstance, especially one that violated campus and state hazing policies. G*L*XY should not be the exception to this rule.