UB initiates probation, lifts suspension on most social Greek life organizations

Review committee implements 14 recommendations for organizations


UB announced all social Greek life organizations, except for one, are no longer suspended but remain on probation as it revealed its Greek Life Review Committee’s recommendations Tuesday afternoon. 

The committee created a 26-page report after four months of investigating UB’s social Greek life following UB President Tripathi’s suspension of all recognized activities. The suspension was in response to the possible hazing which caused freshman Sebastian Serafin-Bazan’s death on April 17

The report highlights 14 specific recommendations UB will implement over the next two years. The recommendations include prohibiting freshmen from joining social Greek organizations during their first semester, suspending Greek life recruitment during the Fall 2019 semester and requiring each student involved in Greek life to pay a $25/semester program fee. All recommendations can be viewed on the university’s website.

In its four-month review, the 19-member committee — including community members, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Pamela-Stephens Jackson, UPD assistant chief Chris Bartolomei and committee chair and dean of the Graduate School of Education Suzanne Rosenblith — examined UB’s 35 social Greek life organizations. It also examined Greek life practices at universities like Florida State University, Penn State University, Louisiana State University and the University of Missouri, before releasing the report on Tuesday. 

Social fraternities and sororities, effective immediately, will remain on probation during the fall semester, in which they won’t be able to recruit any new members, according to Vice President for Student Life A. Scott Weber. UB’s Sigma Pi chapter, which was involved in Serafin-Bazan’s possible hazing death, will remain suspended while Buffalo Police completes its investigation. UB will not consider lifting the suspension until after completing its own investigation after. 

“We believe through this process with clearer policy, a higher level of shared accountability, better education, and greater responsibility by us and the student groups, the conditions will improve,” Weber said.

Now, an implementation committee, led by Dean of Students Barbara Ricotta, will assist Greek-letter social fraternal organizations in adopting the recommendations. The committee will define what each organization must do for the suspensions to be lifted.

“The implementation committee will work collaboratively with the Greek life organizations to implement the recommendations,” Weber said. “It wouldn’t be surprising if different Greek organizations come off probation at different times.”

Weber said “less than a handful” of social Greek life organizations still held events following Tripathi’s suspension, and that UB will “fully adjudicate” those specific cases, referencing UB’s zero-tolerance policy.

In two years, UB will conduct another review to evaluate the recommendations’ success and benefits for social Greek life, according to the report. 

This is a developing story.

The news desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com.


Brenton J. Blanchet is the 2019-20 editor-in-chief of The Spectrum. His work has appeared in Billboard, Clash Magazine, DJBooth, PopCrush, The Face and more. Ask him about Mariah Carey.


Brittany Gorny is the senior news editor.