Youth policies at ISU cause changes to greek recruitment


Photo: Grace Steenhagen/Iowa State Daily

Gilbert middle schoolers head into the Memorial Union with their tour guide to see the structure and get lunch. Middle Schoolers from districts around Ames were invited to campus Wednesday, April 17, 2013, of Veishea to tour the grounds.

Justin Lo

Because of the newest revisions to the Youth Activities and Children in the Workplace policies at Iowa State, Greek Getaway has been replaced by Greek Visit Day.

The Office of Risk Management has administered the policies and procedures for youth events on campus over the past several years.

The Youth Activities Policy and the Children in the Workplace Policy are the two policies that the Office of Risk Management enforces for youth events on campus.

Steve Wieneke, risk specialist for the Office of Risk Management, said that both policies specifically state which events are included and exempt from coverage from these policies.

Susie Johnson, the Office of Risk Management’s interim director, said the newest revisions were made in May 2013.

In past years, Greek Getaway was a part of Greek Week. Both fraternities and sororities allowed students to stay overnight.

Katy Cran, assistant director of the Office of Greek Affairs, said that the National Panhellenic Conference, a governing body which oversees 13 of Iowa State’s sororities, felt there was too much of an insurance liability issue having high school girls stay overnight at sorority houses.

The Office of Greek Affairs’ decision to no longer have high school girls spend the night at sorority houses as part of Greek Visit Day was a decision made collectively by the Office of Greek Affairs and the National Panhellenic Conference.

Cran said overnight stays are more helpful for fraternities than sororities because sororities have their own formal recruitment process in the fall and fraternities do not. High school boys will have the option to spend the night before Greek Visit Day, formerly Greek Getaway, at a fraternity house.

“We absolutely want to be compliant with both the [National Panhellenic Conference] and the university,” Cran said.

Any activities covered by the Youth Activities Policy require background screenings of all the activity’s staff, staff training and management of supervising the youth.

These activities include organized programs specifically offered to youth by the university, youth working in a laboratory with ISU faculty for more than one day, university-sponsored events coordinated with an outside party and youth programs that are on campus but are organized by a non-ISU party.

Events covered by the Children in the Workplace Policy generally require written permission from department chairs and parents, background checks on the supervisor and safety protocol in place during the event.

Youth who job shadow an ISU faculty member for one day, youth working in a laboratory with a faculty member for one day, having an ISU faculty member’s child stay on campus for a short period of time, faculty members offering music lessons or graduate students offering tutoring to youth for more than one day are all events that are covered by the Children in the Workplace Policy.

Activities that are exempt from both the Youth Activities Policy and the Children in the Workplace Policy and do not need to be registered through the Office of Risk Management include youth participation in the laboratory preschool and University Child Care, youth involvement as research subjects, youth coming on campus as part of a school field trip, university-advertised events that are not specifically offered for youth and youth working for an ISU department over the summer.

“It really comes back to the program leader and what college department [or organization] is sponsoring the event and their way of managing it,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s a sports camp in the summer or a day-long retreat or private lessons, any of those things need to be managed correctly with having appropriate supervision, background checks and training for their program staff.”

The Youth Activities Policy, the Children in the Workplace Policy and more information regarding youth and youth events on Iowa State’s campus can be found on the Office of Risk Management’s website.