As punishment for mingling with a fraternity house no longer formally recognized by the university, all the sororities in the UCSB greek system have been on social probation for the past month.
Last quarter, all 10 Panhellenic sororities were caught engaging in various social activities with Sigma Nu, according to several sorority leaders. Since the sororities had been specifically instructed not to socialize with the fraternity – which had its charter revoked last fall – a month-long social ban was imposed until Feb. 15.
According to Alex Hirsch, president of Alpha Phi, although she respects the intentions of the Office of Greek Affairs, the social lockdown does not benefit the sororities.
“In our opinion as a whole it’s negative. … We don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Hirsch, a third-year at UCSB, said.
However, Carola Alden, acting director of greek affairs, said she believes the probation will create stronger unity within the houses.
“I think it’s a positive thing. It’s a check and balances system, a time for chapter reflection with brotherhoods and sisterhoods,” Alden said. “They are still living in the community therefore they are still enjoying the same benefits.”
Although the ban is commonly acknowledged in the greek community, more than a dozen greek affiliated individuals contacted for this article were hesitant or unwilling to comment on the ban. Even Alden, who discussed the objectives of the ban, refused to specifically acknowledge the existence or details of the probation.
Despite the aims of the social ban, Michael Michalowicz, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Social Chair, said he was upset he would be unable to fulfill his social duties because of the probation.
“It sucks because I got elected for my new ideas, and I don’t get to do them right now,” Michalowicz, a second-year business economics major, said.
Meanwhile, Amy Elvidge, a member of Alpha Phi, said social probation is an appropriate reminder to greeks to follow rules that are implemented for their own safety and well-being.
“I think the sororities and fraternities will adjust,” Elvidge, a third-year environmental studies and Spanish major, said. “They have to, they have already suffered the consequences.”
Still, Elvidge said there are better ways to punish the greek system than social probation.
“Instead of consequences, maybe a better system would be one where the organizations would either do more community service, contribute more to philanthropies or be forced to raise their G.P.A so we actually see changes and improvements,” Elvidge said.
Michalowicz said one benefit, which has arisen from the month-long social ban, is economic savings.
“We’ve saved up a lot of money from not having any events,” Michalowicz said. “When the time comes, we’re going to go big and make the best of it.”
Alden, who became acting director of greek affairs at the beginning of this quarter, said she hopes to improve the fundamentals of the greek system. Her aim, she said, is to bolster the existing greek organizations, helping them to succeed in everything from academics to socials to philanthropic and charitable events.
“My goal is to continuously improve what already is in place,” Alden said. “We are always evolving, therefore changing and keeping a good eye on the needs of the community is what is really important.”
Nadav Yuhjtman, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and a fourth-year business economics major, said he also supported the social ban, albeit for different reasons.
“Since we haven’t had events, I have a lot more free time to watch How I Met Your Mother,” Yuhjtman said. “I’m falling in love with Neil Patrick Harris since I’m not forced to get my fuck on dot com.”