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Pause on VCU fraternity, sorority initiation to be lifted following student’s death

Richmond-Petersburg WWBT logo Richmond-Petersburg WWBT 10/7/2021 Brent Solomon
Some Greek organizations are making plans to welcome new members. That’s because VCU is giving them the green light to return as soon as February. © Provided by Richmond-Petersburg WWBT Some Greek organizations are making plans to welcome new members. That’s because VCU is giving them the green light to return as soon as February.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia Commonwealth University is preparing to welcome back Greek organizations in just a few months. This comes after the university initially put all Greek life on hold following the death of student Adam Oakes.

Some Greek organizations are already making plans to welcome new members. That’s because VCU is giving them the green light to return as soon as February. The news comes weeks after 11 people were criminally charged with hazing.

It comes several weeks after the university told fraternities and sororities to halt all new membership following the death of student Adam Oakes in February. He was trying to get into the Delta Chi fraternity when he died from hazing, and 11 people between the ages of 19 and 22 are charged in his death.

“Our fraternity has been at the forefront of stopping hazing allegations, or hazing in general. Underground hazing culture, that’s not something we do. We don’t haze,” said student Tristan Zambrano. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He says not all Greek organizations initiate new members the same. “You don’t need to haze brothers in order to garner them into your fraternity. That’s not how how you build relationships. You build relationships with like-minded individuals who are always striving to make the community better.”

The university says a new Director of Greek Life has now been hired. That person will start later this month, with the goal of helping to steer the ship.

“People need to see us. People need to see us,” student Stephen Ogarekpe added.

He’s glad to show his campus what his fraternity is all about.

“We’re not just a study organization. We’re not just partying and having fun, like of course those things happen when you’re a part of a fraternity. We’re a part of service projects. We’re a part of national programs that we do annually in Richmond and across VCU. People need to see that. People need to be impacted by that.”

The university says it will continue to review all reports of misconduct by Greek organizations and if proven in violation, they could be banned, just as Delta Chi was three months after Oakes died.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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