Concerns over Greek Life Culture at Bloomsburg University

BLOOMSBURG -- Bloomsburg University recently did a review of its Greek life program. The study looked at the impact of sororities and fraternities on campus.

AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development did the review of Bloomsburg University's Greek life program. The review uncovered concerns over the university's Greek Life culture and block party, an annual event organized by students every spring.

According to the review, from 2012 to 2017, there were, "25 formal complaints of alleged code of conduct violations involving fraternities and sororities."

Those complaints included hazing, alcohol violations, sexual harassment, drugs, fighting, and illegal pledging.

"I think that we have some work to do," said vice president of student affairs Dione Somerville. "When you look at those recommendations and you read the report in its entirety, there are definitely some challenges that we need to address. Part of why we released the report in its entirety: we wanted to be transparent with our community on and off campus."

Greek life members tell Newswatch 16 that some of the recent incidents involving other Greek life organizations that have made national headlines have forced them to reassess their practices.

"We make sure that the organizations know what they can and cannot do. I think that's the most important thing. People are going to do what they want to do anyway, but as long as we have those rules in place and we have the documentation, we're covering ourselves and we're doing everything we can do correctly," said Christian Marks, interfraternity council member.

The annual block party isn't affiliated with the university. Students tell Newswatch 16 that they want the event to continue, but admit there are ways to make it safer.

"Personally, I'm in Phi Sigma Sigma and we block off our yard for block party, so that those risky things can't really happen," said Maggie Farrer, Phi Sigma Sigma. "I don't think that that's true that Greek life is the cause for block party and I do think we can do things to improve the safety."

According to the study, there are between 250 and 350 arrests during the block party every year. The university tells us that 80 percent of those arrests are not Bloomsburg students.

16 comments

  • trucker

    The entire society is crumbling badly since 2 Supreme court decisions,Engel v. Vitale in 62 and Abington School District v. Schempp in 63.

  • Cowboy

    Have the so called party in the university gym.
    It’s a University’s Greek life program so party harty there.
    You don’t have to block public streets.

  • Archie Beal

    Cars are a necessity…firearm possession by the common citizen is not…so no, the decision to ban cars is not the answer

  • Heather Trone Woll

    Block Party is not a Greek event at Bloomsburg. Do Greeks have parties on that day? Yes of course. But Greek Life does not sponsor nor promote the event. As for the rest of the report, it seems quite apparent that there are some issues in the administration side at Bloomsburg that need to be dealt with. It’s too bad the press is looking at this as a way to villify Greek Life at Bloom instead of understanding that the University and students will use this as a tool for change that is needed.

    • Rusty Butterknife

      Then, do something proactive. Work with Bloomsburg City to ban the free-for-all block party. I’ve been through Bloom during this quasi-Mardis Gras, and it’s incredible AND repugnant. That any city would indulge an entire university student body to drink, drug, and act-out is beyond my capacity to understand.

      Do something. Make common sense, the “honor code,” and higher expectations of the student body a PRIORITY.

    • S. Johnson

      Heather Trone Woll – I graduated from BU and to say that block party is not Greek sponsored nor promoted is a lie. When Greek orgs makes and sells t-shirts, they are promoting it. When they hire bands to perform on Fetterman Ave., they are promoting it. Block party doesn’t magically happen without some type of coordinated effort by the students who live on Lightstreet, Fetterman, Iron, etc. You are correct to say that the administration has a lot of work to do.

  • Archie Beal

    Lloyd, it is a shame a poor excuse of a human being such as yourself was permitted to reproduce. Scumbag

  • Roflmao

    Seems the banks these days will give any kid from a zhithole city a loan to attend school in Bloomsburg. Not only do they fail out with debt, they all have Columbia county arrest warrants for unpaid parking tickets. That Bloomsburg takes their parking very seriously!

Comments are closed.