- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Less than a year after a West Virginia University freshman’s alcohol-related death at a fraternity house, a new university official is trying to change the school’s Greek life culture.

Vice president of student affairs William Schafer told the school’s Faculty Senate on Monday that the start of rush for Greek organizations will be pushed back from the third week of school to the sixth week, multiple media outlets reported.

Schafer also pushed for a policy in which students will not face university punishments if they seek help for themselves or friends who have drank too much alcohol.

He said the amnesty policy is still being worked on and he does not know if it would extend to drug use.

“They’ve done something that they know is not legal, or is against policies, so they don’t call for help when the person needs it,” Schafer told the Charleston Gazette (https://bit.ly/1HhauTn ). “Our goal is to encourage students to get help when they need it, and not worry about the consequences.”

Schafer’s plans come after the November death of Nolan Burch, an 18-year-old who police say died after drinking alcohol given to him by Kappa Sigma fraternity members during a pledge ceremony.

Schafer said he is delaying rush week because research shows those first weeks are crucial for social engagement and academic success.

He also said he hopes to hire a Greek life director by the start of the fall semester.

Schafer was hired by WVU from the Georgia Institute of Technology in January. He had been the vice president for student affairs there since 2004.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette, https://www.wvgazette.com

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