Long-awaited UB report following death of student outlines extensive changes at fraternities and sororities

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The suspension on Greek life at the University at Buffalo has been lifted. All fraternities and sororities at the school may now resume operations, with the exception of one.

This past April, Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, 18, a freshman at UB, was hospitalized with a serious medical condition believed to be a result of a suspected hazing incident on Custer Street. He died at the hospital just days later.

A source said witnesses told detectives Serafin-Bazan was exercising before he suffered a medical emergency. 

The incident involved the Sigma Pi fraternity, which will be the only Greek organization to remain suspended. School officials say that suspension will remain in effect until the Buffalo police investigation of Serafin-Bazan’s death is completed and the university is able to conduct an internal review of the incident.

When the university suspended Greek life in April, it formed a committee to review the school’s fraternities and sororities and make recommendations to improve Greek life.

It’s very hard to get students to report on other students’ behavior. We’re not at those parties. We’re not supposed to be at those parties. That’s not our role.

A. Scott Weber

The committee recommended:

  • All organizations on probation for the fall 2019 semester, which means no recruiting of new members
  • An expanded Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life for more oversight
  • A publicly available scorecard for each of the 35 fraternities and sororities
  • A clear and comprehensive definition of hazing
  • A mandatory faculty/staff adviser for each organization
  • Barring freshmen from joining during the first semester
  • A pledge period of a maximum six weeks
  • A $25 per organization member “programming fee”
  • Encouraging unrecognized fraternities and sororities to seek an official designation

A. Scott Weber, the Vice President for Student Life at UB, said Wednesday that the Greek organizations will come off probation as they reach benchmarks set by an implementation committee that will be formed to implement new recommendations. It is not expect that will happen this fall.

The recommendations will be put in motion and completed over the next two years.

Some 1,000 students at UB participate in Greek life, according to the university.

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