The following statement was issued May 27 in response the problems at Shasta Lake in Northern California:
The members of the fraternity and sorority community at the University of Oregon would like to extend our deepest apologies for the manner in which the Shasta-Trinity forest area was left. The Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils are taking the events that happened at Shasta Lake this weekend very seriously. The behavior that occurred is extremely disgraceful and not behavior we would ever condone or that aligns with the values of our organizations.
To the employees of the U.S. Forest Service, residents of Shasta County, the University of Oregon, along with everyone who was affected by the images of the destruction, we apologize for our involvement in the events of May 20-22. The behavior exhibited is unacceptable, does not represent our values, and was an embarrassment for our entire community. The inappropriate actions of our members reflect poorly on our chapters, our community, our University and we hold ourselves accountable for our role in this situation.
This incident is not representative of the values of the University of Oregon or any fraternal organization, nor is it acceptable. The University continues to investigate the situation in partnership with several inter/national fraternity and sorority headquarters.
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Interfraternity Council, and Panhellenic Council is committed to ensuring that the University of Oregon fraternity and sorority community is furthering the educational mission of our institution and that members live in accordance to the values and oaths that they swore to uphold.
Lambda Chi Alpha – Zeta Omicron Zeta has stepped up by accepting responsibility for its role and is developing a plan for appropriate response. Specifically, the chapter will:
- Travel to Lake Shasta to assist in the clean up over Memorial Day weekend
- Establish an ongoing philanthropy with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest Service and their volunteer programs. The philanthropy will include raising money for ongoing clean-up efforts, trail repairs and community education as well as annual trips by the members of our Fraternity to assist with tree planting, clean ups and trail repairs.
- Partner with an established environmental organization on campus to provide ongoing educational classes, seminars and events to the Greek community and the University at large to raise awareness and increase engagement around both environmental and conservation efforts.
- Work with local authorities, the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Oregon and our general fraternity on any ongoing investigation regarding our involvement in this incident.
While Lambda Chi Alpha has been at the center of this story, it is important to acknowledge that the approximately 1,000 participants included members from many chapters, as well as nonaffiliated students and students from other institutions. While the trip was not organized or sponsored in the same manner as official social activities, it is clear that the event and related behaviors can be reasonably associated with a number of our recognized student organizations.
Several other University of Oregon fraternities and sororities are assisting in restitution service projects, both in coordination with Lambda Chi Alpha and independently, and will be hosting a camping and outdoor supplies drive to donate to non-profit organizations in the Shasta area.
Again, we are deeply disappointed by the conduct of the students involved in this incident from the University of Oregon. Our community looks forward to rectifying these actions and growing from this situation.
Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council
University of Oregon