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USC frat parties allowed to return in March, but guards required near bedrooms to prevent sexual assaults

Most USC fraternities will be open for parties in March if members abide by strict rules that include posting security guards at stairs or hallways leading to bedrooms, under new university polices enacted three months after allegations of sexual abuse and drugging at several houses roiled campus.

The requirements, issued ahead of spring recruitment “rush,” also include mandated risk and sexual violence prevention trainings for all fraternity members. The policies were drafted by Greek life and student government leaders, safety experts and other student group representatives and approved by university officials. Provost Charles Zukoski called the partnership between the group and the university “critical” to the future of USC’s Greek life.

“About 4,000 of our students participate in fraternity and sorority life at USC, and many say that this is a central part of their USC experience,” Zukoski wrote this week. “Our community must work together to end sexual assault on our campuses. We appreciate everyone who brings forward concerns and reports sexual assault and other issues impacting safety and well-being, and we understand how difficult this can be.”

The policies were released as a Title IX investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at several USC fraternities remains underway and as students prepare to return to in-person instruction Monday after a remote start to the semester. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in schools and educational programs that receive federal funding.

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