WVU working to improve student group behavior

MORGANTOWN (AP) — West Virginia University is developing a conduct handbook for student organizations and taking other steps to improve these groups’ behavior.

The handbook is intended to serve as a conduct guide for student organizations and to show that there will be repercussions from wrongdoing by any members of groups. The handbook would apply to all of WVU’s more than 400 student organizations, which range in size from four to 200 individuals, Bob Campione, interim director of Student Organization Services, told The Dominion Post.

University officials also are establishing a WVU Greek Life Advisory Board that will include representatives from campus Greek organizations, Greek alumni, WVU faculty, Office of Student Conduct, Student Government Association (SGA), WVU Police, Morgantown Police Department and Morgantown Fire Department.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said the advisory board is being formed to help stop behavior such as an incident on Feb. 22 in which a water balloon fight escalated into a melee involving 20 to 30 people.

Advisory boards eventually will be created to oversee all student organizations, from club sports teams down to chess clubs, Campione said.

“Due to the issues at hand like hazing and the scuffle, the attention right now is on Greek organizations,” he said. “Collectively, Greek organizations are small and only make up about 5 percent of the student body, but they are the most visible.”

John Longo, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s chapter at WVU, said bringing the community together is a good idea.

“This will bring everybody closer with the university and alumni on the same page,” Longo told the newspaper.

Brittany Crossetti, a WVU student and member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, questioned the effectiveness of advisory boards.

“I don’t know how much good that’s going to do,” Crossetti told the newspaper. “It’s definitely a good idea that might reduce violence in the long run but if people in groups want to fight, they’re going to fight.”

Student Karli Gasswint, another member of the public relations society, said she was unsure if the planned board would translate well to other groups.

“As groups, we are all different and have different rules,” she told the newspaper.

WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts said he thinks the changes will benefit everyone involved.

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