UVA fraternities charge school with "unfairly" punishing them by banning kegs

The university has required Greek organizations to sign new operating rules, but some frats are refusing

By Jenny Kutner

Published January 16, 2015 3:00PM (EST)

          (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-978674p1.html'>American Spirit</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(American Spirit via Shutterstock)

Following the fallout from Rolling Stone's controversial article on an alleged gang rape at UVA, the university temporarily suspended all Greek organizations through the end of the fall semester. In allowing the groups to reconvene this year, UVA officials have required organizations to agree to a new fraternity operating agreement (FOA), authored by student representatives. Two fraternities aren't having it.

WVIR reports that Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Order have refused to sign the new FOA, which outlines new rules for serving alcohol at parties. Greek organizations will be prohibited from serving pre-mixed drinks or punches, and a requirement that beer be served from unopened cans effectively bans kegs. There are also restrictions on wine indicating that it must be poured by a sober brother at fraternities.

According to two nearly identical statements from Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Order, the new rules are untenable:

The University violated the previous FOA as well as student individual and organizational rights. The system-wide suspension, which was initiated for reasons that were found to be untrue, unfairly punished all members of fraternities and sororities. It was maintained and used as leverage to require the changes to the FOA. Because we do not accept the validity of a suspension imposed in contravention of the existing FOA, university policy, Virginia law and the constitutional rights of our members, we are not compelled to sign a revised FOA to continue operations on campus.

The fraternity at the center of the Rolling Stone story, Phi Kappa Psi -- which was reinstated earlier this week -- has signed the agreement.

(h/t Jezebel)

Jenny Kutner

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