The three candidates for Student Assembly president, all of whom are members of Greek houses, discussed issues ranging from Greek diversity to the Assembly’s role in Greek proceedings on Thursday night at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity’s third annual debate on Greek issues.
Throughout the debate, Dave Zubricki ’07 continued to draw attention to his Assembly experience, while Adam Patinkin ’07 stressed his position as the “non-establishment” candidate and Chrissie Chick ’07 emphasized her status as the middle of road candidate.
“Dave [Zubricki] here has a lot of experience, but what does he have to show for it? I wonder whether he is in touch with what other students want,” said Chick, who is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. “I also wonder about Adam [Patinkin’s] level of commitment.”
The candidates all agreed on the importance of the Greek system to the Dartmouth community. Patinkin pointed to his extensive experience within the Interfraternity Council and as a member of Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity, stating that “Greek issues really are my forte.”
Zubricki, who has also served on the Interfraternity Council and is a member of Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, stated that he values the Greek system, but only as one of many communities on-campus.
“I’m not the kind of guy who puts Greeks above anybody else,” he said.
After write-in candidate Tim Andreadis ’07 questioned Patinkin and Zubricki about what they would do to make women feel more comfortable in fraternity basements, both expressed that educating brothers is crucial.
“We recently had a SAPA [Sexual Abuse Peer Advisor] event in our house, and we had a speaker come talk to the brothers,” Patinkin said. “Alpha Chi has a thing right now where they make a couple of their brothers become Sex Abuse Peer Advisors, and I think that is a very good policy.”
Zubricki agreed, stating that, “it takes two elements, accountability and education. You really have to take a proactive approach to making your social space welcome to all.”
After an audience member raised the issue of racism and homophobia within the Greek system, the candidates echoed each other’s sentiments about communication and education.
“It’s important to continue advocacy,” Chick said, “Let’s have people from the GSA [Gay-Straight Alliance] come and talk about their experiences. Let’s not fear the unknown. Let’s connect with each other.”
After another audience member questioned the candidates about their views on minority Greek organizations, each of the three candidates responded hesitantly.
“I must admit that I don’t know enough about this topic,” Chick said. “But I think it’s important to rally around common interests and common experiences. I think that resonates with my theme of local control and students advocating for themselves.”
Zubricki, on the other hand, took issue with the classification of minority organizations in the first place.”Let’s fix the system so that all sororities are under the Panhellenic umbrella and all fraternities are under the IFC umbrella,” he said.
Patinkin applied the minority housing issue to the proposed Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, approaching the subject with caution.
“There are some very technical issues,” he said. “To designate a fraternity as specifically Jewish has some interesting implications, but I’m open to looking at it.”
The candidates closed debate by reiterating how important they each think the Greek system is to campus life.