Today, we announce the establishment of the University Park Interfraternity Council (UPIFC) – a coalition of fraternities previously affiliated with the University of Southern California. This Council will be committed to enhancing and supporting the fraternity experience while promoting peer-governance within and among its membership. The UPIFC fraternity chapters are recognized and supported by their respective national organizations.
Student and local alumni leadership have been established, and our top priority will be the health and safety of all fraternity members and guests. All students and member organizations in the UPIFC will be expected to follow both the law and all organizational policies.
It is our strong preference to engage in a partnership with USC that is mutually beneficial, respectful and rooted in a commitment to shared values and the holistic development of students. We believe that we have the right to organize safely and choose the relationships that we find constructive, both academically and socially.
Over the past several years, the partnership between fraternity chapters and USC has been deteriorating, with significant deterioration throughout the past year stemming from a USC suspension of nearly all organizational activities lasting more than 90 days, including for organizations that have not been implicated in any wrongdoing, prolonged University investigations that have resulted in lengthy interim suspensions as well as a unilateral decision in 2017 to enact a deferred fraternity/sorority recruitment policy which restricts the associational rights of students.
As student leaders committed to the USC community, we have a vision that is dedicated to safety, integrity and a commitment to service. The UPIFC will allow us to fully continue all normal activities, including philanthropy and fundraising events, community service, regular chapter meetings, officer elections and recruitment. We are excited to provide USC students and the local community an organized group of young men they can rely on.
As USC students, we remain ready and willing to engage with USC leadership in meaningful dialogue to address our concerns and build a new partnership. This decision should not be seen as a reflection of the current or former USC Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Development staff and their steadfast commitment to and support of the fraternity community.
However, until our organizations are treated fairly by the University we love and remain committed to, we will operate our fraternal community independently with integrity and fairness. We believe all students—current and future—should have the opportunity to join any organization at the time that they feel is best for them. We hope this new collaboration will elevate safety, responsibility and engagement within our community.