TW: Mentions of hazing, sexual violence, gender- based violence and student safety
As the leaders of CUSA, we have been closely following the reported allegations of hazing within Greek Letter Organizations, supporting survivors, and examining what Carleton University and CUSA can do to ensure students are safe and feel free to be involved on campus. During this time, we feel it important to examine CUSA’s former relationship with Greek Letter Organizations, the current role of CUSA relating to Greek Letter Organizations, and what actions CUSA will take moving forward.
CUSA’s Former Relationship with Greek Letter Organizations
CUSA previously had a close affiliation with Greek Letter Organizations in two ways. However, these affiliations no longer exist. Firstly, CUSA leadership was directly tied to Greek Letter Organization leadership, and Greek Letter Organizations were often represented throughout CUSA governance. CUSA governance reforms undertaken between the fall of 2021 and the spring of 2022 eliminated all CUSA affiliations with Greek Letter Organizations. Significantly, CUSA governance reform resulted in the establishment of the CUSA Board, consisting of students-at-large with no prior affiliation to CUSA, tasked with guiding corporate decisions. Additionally, CUSA governance reform emboldened CUSA Council’s role in setting the advocacy and student interest positions of the organization as the elected legislative body of the organization. As such, a single CUSA Executive cannot independently take a stance on behalf of the organization or action major decisions without due process.
Secondly, the CUSA Clubs system previously certified multiple clubs which represented the interests of Greek Letter Organizations. In the summer of 2021, the CUSA Clubs system was reformed, and a new Clubs Oversight Commission was formed to oversee the operations of the CUSA Clubs system. Due to the new procedures outlining how all clubs must have unique mandates and must not have restrictive membership, Greek Letter Organizations have been unable to be certified as CUSA Clubs. As such, there are no certified Greek Letter Organizations in the CUSA Clubs system today, and there have not been since 2021. Since CUSA holds no authority over non-certified student groups, it holds no authority over Greek Letter Organizations.
CUSA’s Role Moving Forward
As CUSA Executives, we engage in matters related to Greek Letter Organizations only when there are concerns about student safety. When CUSA had a relationship with Greek Letter Organizations, CUSA was the primary formal link between these groups and Carleton’s campus. When CUSA ended its relationships with Greek Letter Organizations, this onus shifted to Carleton University, in the same way the university manages relationships or the lack thereof with other community groups.
While CUSA has no direct authority over Greek Letter Organizations, CUSA still has a role to play in providing support for students affected by these organizations and in advocating for Carleton University to take a stand in response to the recent allegations. In managing the relationship with Greek Letter Organizations, Carleton University should stand up for the safety of their students. In the past, the university has increased enforcement on tabling, spontaneous classroom meetings, and postering. We believe additional enforcement of Carleton University policy is necessary in the case of Greek Letter Organizations.
CUSA President Mohamed Faris Riazudden is pushing for CUSA Council to take a formal stance limiting CUSA’s relationship with Greek Letter Organizations. This would include mandating that the Clubs Oversight Commission is not to certify them, that they are not to be permitted to hold events in CUSA businesses, and that CUSA should not sponsor Greek Letter Organization initiatives. Faris is seeking a CUSA Councillor to second the stance so that it can be considered at the January 2024 CUSA Council Meeting.
Upon action from CUSA Council, we will ensure the values of any entity wishing to partner with CUSA businesses align with CUSA’s values.
All students deserve to pursue their studies in safety and dignity. CUSA has recognized its role in this matter and is committed to providing support to students affected. CUSA has and will continue to advocate that Carleton University treat these allegations seriously and take action against any Greek Letter Organizations operating on campus in contravention of their expectations and policies.
VP Finance/Secretary Treasurer
VP Community Engagement
Emilia De Jesus Peixoto
VP Student Issues
VP Student Life
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