UI announces changes to Fraternity and Sorority Life, support of FIJI chapter during performance review

Following student protests about the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta earlier this semester, the university said it supports the members of the fraternity during the performance review of the Iowa chapter.


Rachel Wagner

The Phi Gamma Delta house is seen on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

Lillian Poulsen, News Reporter

The University of Iowa announced on Monday that it will implement changes to support students and improve the fraternity and sorority life experience at the university, including changes to the recruitment process, education and training, and transparency.

Starting in the fall of 2022, the UI will require new chapters or chapters seeking re-establishment on campus to review and agree to an updated expansion agreement.

The agreement includes new expectations such as restricting the ability to obtain a chapter house within the first five years and identifying local support systems, The UI Division of Student Life said in a release on Monday.

The university also said it’s supporting the members of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity (FIJI) as they perform a review of the Iowa chapter, including questions regarding law and policy compliance, chapter and member-level accountability, GPA, educational program attendance, and financial obligations.

The announced changes come after allegations of sexual assault surfaced against two former members of the fraternity that was alleged in September of 2020. Makena Solberg, a University of Iowa student, filed a civil lawsuit against the two former members in and the fraternity in October, accusing them of sexual assault and accusing the fraternity of failing to properly monitor an official activity. The two members accused of the assault were removed from the fraternity in September of 2020 after police began investigating the initial report.

The review is expected to conclude in mid-November, the release said.

A new house director policy aims to ensure that individuals with experience in higher education and student affairs will be hired and retained by providing professional wages, suitable housing, and standard work week hours.

RELATED: Two former members, Iowa FIJI sued over alleged 2020 sexual assault

Duties required of the house director include hosting evening meals, hosting social and recruitment functions, and organizing and facilitating the maintenance of the chapter house and yard.

The Fraternity and Sorority Life programs have developed a curriculum covering alcohol education, violence prevention, academic excellence, wellness, diversity, equity, inclusion, leadership development, and bystander intervention.

The Women’s Resource and Action Center and Rape Victim Advocacy Program created a violence prevention education program for the community. Chapter members will be required to complete this training, which will be tracked by staff members each semester.

The Fraternity and in the release that the Sorority Life scoreboard and accountability action summary helps students and chapter members engage in actions that will create positive change. Information including total members, new members, new member GPA, hazing investigations, and race/ethnicity of members is shared every fall and spring to ensure transparency within and outside of the chapters.