Two nationally known consultants on student-focused issues will lead a forum of West Virginia University’s Greek community in discussing recent events that led to the suspension of all chapter social and pledging activities. More importantly, the conversation will focus on changing the culture around excessive drinking, reckless behavior and other society issues.

Kimberly Novak and Rick Barnes will lead the invitation-only forum on Monday (Dec. 8) evening. The University has invited two representatives – the president and one non-officer – from each of the 30 fraternities and sororities as well as the InterFraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Council.

“This is just the beginning of a discussion to address some serious issues that are affecting college campuses across America and to implement a culture change at WVU,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. “We are determined to help lead this national conversation and for our students to set a higher standard for behavior and for solutions.”

Novak is an independent consultant for campus safety, student risk management and student organization development. Additionally she serves Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity as director of risk education and prevention. She is recognized as a national expert in student-focused risk management, hazing prevention and involving students in campus safety efforts.

Barnes is founder and president of Rick Barnes Presents Inc. and has served as president of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and the AFA Foundation. He is a frequent speaker to college and corporate audiences and has led discussions on alcohol and hazing.

WVU, the InterFraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, instituted the moratorium on Nov. 13 following two incidents: the death of a fraternity pledge after a catastrophic medical emergency at a fraternity house and a disturbance in South Park involving members of another fraternity. There also was one other, unrelated, charter revocation at about the same time.

“The action to halt fraternity and sorority activities while these matters are being reviewed is being done with the well-being and safety of our students in mind. That is – and must always be – our foremost priority,” Farris said when the moratorium was announced.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

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