Fraternity council addresses activities ban

Lee Hughes, Assistant News Editor

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The future of the fraternity activities ban is uncertain as investigations continue, following a March 19 campus visit from the North American Interfraternity Conference.

The ban was instated Feb. 5 following the death of first-year Connor Gage.

Gage died Feb. 2 after attending at least one fraternity event. Autopsy reports suggested his death was the result of alcohol consumption and freezing temperatures.

The NIC met with UVM administrators March 19.

Judson Horras, CEO of the association, was hopeful for a quickly forthcoming resolution for fraternities not involved in the incident, he stated in an email.

Annie Stevens, vice provost for student affairs, said the NIC is pushing for an April 1 end to the activities ban.

“The Nationals have this target date,” she said. “I’m not going to pressure any police

investigation or any campus investigation because the Nationals want me to.”

UVM is still investigating potential policy violations surrounding Gage’s death and the Burlington Police Department is still investigating his death, Stevens said.

“We will also work with the fraternity and sorority life national and local community about ways we can prevent any similar tragedy from ever happening again,” she stated.

Gage’s death is not why the NIC visited campus, Horras said.

“That was a tragedy for him, and there is no doubt that that situation needs to be addressed properly for those directly involved,” Horras said. “But also, how do you have due process for those that weren’t involved?”

First-year Haley Crean said the ban is justified, but it is unfortunate the ban is affecting people who may not have been involved in Gage’s death.

“I do think the ban is justified because someone did die,” she said.

Tom Bozzano, president of the greek alumni advisory council, said the activities ban is having a very negative effect on fraternities.

“We have been given extremely limited information on the terms of the suspension,” he said.

Greek life wants to partner with the University, Bozzano said, but he is not sure if the University wants the same.

Stevens, Daphne Wells, director of student life, Christina Vega, assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, Horras and Ashlee Canty, vice president of campus operations at the NIC were all at the meeting.

Leadership from all UVM fraternities except for Kappa Sigma were there.