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  #16  
Old 10-31-2014, 06:10 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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Do we really think it was just one chapter? Generally, when campus admins punish an entire campus, it's not because there's one problem chapter in the news and the rest are fine. It's because there are many other chapters getting in trouble behind the scenes, and a campus culture of issues that the admin is well aware of--but the university doesn't want the P.R. firestorm that admitting that would create.

I'm sure that the CSUN administration is more aware about what kind of problems their Greek system is facing than we are.

I don't see independent Greek systems as a solution that fraternities are going to initiate anymore except in very, very rare cases. Insurance costs are just too high, and rising every year--HQs know that they need adult supervision on the ground at every chapter to prevent those risk management problems that will lead to them getting sued out of existence. Since HQs obviously can't afford to provide that themselves, they're dependent on the schools to do it for them. They're much more dependent on the schools than the schools are on them. This isn't the '70s or '80s, when you could afford not to worry about those lawsuits. (Fraternity HQs are also dependent on those schools to provide them with a sense of legitimacy--after all, a fraternity that's unaffiliated with a university and operates the way CSUN's Pi Kappa Phi did has little to differentiate it from a gang.)
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2014, 11:22 AM
Kevin Kevin is online now
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The fear of lawsuits is somewhat overblown. While lawsuits get a lot of attention, actually winning these lawsuits, at least against the national fraternity or individual chapter isn't easy to do. Courts are more often than not in these cases finding that the national organization and chapter cannot be held responsible for the illegal acts of individuals who happen to be members.

Culturally, we have a tendency to worry a little too much about hypotheticals.

At any rate, CSUN needs to name and investigate the suspected organizations. I find it unlikely that ALL groups on that campus have this issue.
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  #18  
Old 11-01-2014, 02:14 PM
als463 als463 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The fear of lawsuits is somewhat overblown. While lawsuits get a lot of attention, actually winning these lawsuits, at least against the national fraternity or individual chapter isn't easy to do. Courts are more often than not in these cases finding that the national organization and chapter cannot be held responsible for the illegal acts of individuals who happen to be members.

Culturally, we have a tendency to worry a little too much about hypotheticals.

At any rate, CSUN needs to name and investigate the suspected organizations. I find it unlikely that ALL groups on that campus have this issue.
^I agree. I doubt this was all chapters on campus. Sometimes, media exposure on certain events can cause a knee-jerk reaction. This whole situation is just unfortunate. I thought I read somewhere that the campus decided to just punish the organization in question later on down the road. This may be at another school, though.
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2014, 04:05 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The fear of lawsuits is somewhat overblown. While lawsuits get a lot of attention, actually winning these lawsuits, at least against the national fraternity or individual chapter isn't easy to do. Courts are more often than not in these cases finding that the national organization and chapter cannot be held responsible for the illegal acts of individuals who happen to be members.
True but . . .

The lawsuits still have to be defended, and the GLOs have to deal with the publicity attendant to them. As you said, lawsuits get lots of attention; the fact that plaintiffs lost often doesn't get as much attention. Settlement, even if it's a wise move from a (litigation) risk-management standpoint, can carry the perception of admitting some responsibility. And the risk of litigation can carry consequences insurance-wise for everyone.

So, while the fear of a bad verdict may be somewhat overblown—though juries are unpredictable creatures—fear of the tangible and intangible costs of lawsuits isn't as overblown.
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2014, 06:06 PM
exlurker exlurker is offline
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A recent slight update about CSUN administrators meeting with Greek representatives. Also mentioned is an ongoing investigation.

http://sundial.csun.edu/2014/10/admi...arding-hazing/
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  #21  
Old 11-06-2014, 01:24 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The fear of lawsuits is somewhat overblown. While lawsuits get a lot of attention, actually winning these lawsuits, at least against the national fraternity or individual chapter isn't easy to do. Courts are more often than not in these cases finding that the national organization and chapter cannot be held responsible for the illegal acts of individuals who happen to be members.
It's not really the lawsuits in and of themselves that are the problem. It's the fact that even just getting sued--not being found guilty--will raise their insurance rates drastically. We're already at the point where some of the major groups have insurance costs that are prohibitively high for smaller chapters. (I can't remember what organization it is, but there's at least one NIC fraternity where insurance costs alone are $300+/per year per member, mostly due to the number of lawsuits they're on the receiving end of. That's fine at major state Us, but it's clearly unsustainable at smaller, unhoused campuses where there will be other groups whose total dues may not be much more than that.) Those costs are quickly rising--and with the recent refocus on sexual assault on campus and subsequent rise in women actually filing charges and those charges being treated seriously, fraternities will likely be facing an uptick in sexual assault-related lawsuits as well. Fraternities need to reverse that trend to remain viable. Being in cooperation with the local university admin and the Greek life office is a necessary part of that for almost every group. The only ones who will be exempt are the ones who already have a long history of being able to handle themselves without it.
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2014, 03:39 PM
Kevin Kevin is online now
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It's not really the lawsuits in and of themselves that are the problem. It's the fact that even just getting sued--not being found guilty--will raise their insurance rates drastically.
Not all insurance is created equal. I doubt very much that what you said is the case with FIPG insured chapters and organizations. I would expect rates to be more dependent upon the degree of HQ oversight that is exercised and the individual chapters' requirements for compliance, e.g., risk management workshops, annual reporting on risk situations, etc. Remember that most of us are insured through a cooperative not-for-profit company.

Quote:
We're already at the point where some of the major groups have insurance costs that are prohibitively high for smaller chapters. (I can't remember what organization it is, but there's at least one NIC fraternity where insurance costs alone are $300+/per year per member, mostly due to the number of lawsuits they're on the receiving end of.
I doubt "due to the number of lawsuits" tells an accurate story.

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Those costs are quickly rising--and with the recent refocus on sexual assault on campus and subsequent rise in women actually filing charges and those charges being treated seriously, fraternities will likely be facing an uptick in sexual assault-related lawsuits as well.
There is only one against an actual chapter that I've heard of. It is very difficult to hold an organization liable for the intentional torts of its members. I think in the incident I've heard of, the plaintiff is trying to use some offensive email to demonstrate that the group had a policy of rape and that was a group concern, but it's going to be hard to sell that. The email is clearly some idiot's idea of something funny rather than an official bro's guide to rape.

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Fraternities need to reverse that trend to remain viable.
I question the existence of a "trend." The new Title IX investigations and prosecutions have yet to work their way through the courts and I can't see a system which can impose severe, life changing penalties upon someone who was found by some questionably trained faculty member, by a preponderance of the evidence to have perpetrated a crime which they very well may not be charged with criminally and very well may have not been able to participate much in their defense because they were advised of their 5th Amendment right to say nothing (which counts as an admission of guilt in a Title IX investigation). Somehow, I don't see the status quo as much of an answer to this "trend."

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Being in cooperation with the local university admin and the Greek life office is a necessary part of that for almost every group. The only ones who will be exempt are the ones who already have a long history of being able to handle themselves without it.
In these times when universities are imposing system wide sanctions when they don't have evidence that there's any system-wide problem is a huge problem. If it continues, you may very well see many of us opting out of the system and out of university oversight.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2015, 03:23 PM
ChioLu ChioLu is offline
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Third fraternity at Cal State Northridge suspended.
TKE for hazing and sexual allegations.
http://news.yahoo.com/video/third-fr...RBVVMwOTdfMQ--
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