Greek leaders to release proposals

by Parker Richards | 11/5/14 6:46pm

Greek leaders proposed policy changes related to high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct, freshman safety, house renovations, faculty advisors and inclusivity in a letter sent to senior College administrators earlier this week.

A draft of the proposal was published on Dartblog Wednesday morning, though Greek leaders said that version is outdated and subject to change. The final proposal will be released Thursday, Inter-Fraternity Council president chair Wil Chockley ’15 said.

The Panhellenic Council and the Gender-Inclusive Greek Council, formerly the Coed Council, voted to sign the document Wednesday. IFC public relations chair Brett Drucker ’15 said the council should approve a final proposal by Thursday. Panhell, GIGC and IFC leaders declined to provide The Dartmouth with the finished proposal.

Panhell president Rachel Funk ’15 said proposals related to high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct and financial inclusivity will be different in the final draft, declining to specify further.

The final version will not include “earth-shattering changes” to the leaked draft, Chockley said.

The leaked proposal recommends that Greek organizations hire third-party bartenders to serve hard alcohol at registered tails events, strengthen punishments for members found serving hard alcohol to underage drinkers, encourage the use of kegs instead of bottles and cans, require College-paid, third-party bouncers to monitor large parties and work with state officials to track who buys hard alcohol. The proposal requests an exemption to the bartender policy for coed Greek houses that have not been found responsible for an alcohol violation in more than three years to incentivize membership.

Gender-Inclusive Greek Council president Noah Cramer ’16 said the policy exempting coed houses is important to many members of the three Greek coed organizations, as they traditionally serve hard alcohol rather than beer at events.

The draft also proposes that Greek houses remove members from their organizations whoare suspended by the College for sexual misconduct and organize a summit to produce bystander intervention guidelines. Identifiable, trained sober monitors should monitor Greek events with more than 50 attendees, according to the published proposal.

The proposal also recommends a termly discussion between Greek organizations and non-Greek student groups to educate members on race, gender, class and sexual orientation, as a way of promoting inclusivity.

The draft describes several Greek financial aid policies. Panhell is working to establish a scholarship fund through the College’s development office, while the IFC plans to provide 70 grants of $100 per year for students who will apply anonymously, according to the draft.

The document outlines policies designed to protect freshmen through increased contact between Greek houses and undergraduate advisors, suggesting that Greek representatives speak at a freshman floor meetings. The proposal also indicates that Greek organizations should give UGAs contact information for presidents and risk-managers.

The proposal asks the College to help Greek organizations renovate their houses and promises a reduction in the number of pong tables. Seating in Greek houses could lead to “more diverse social interaction” and slower alcohol consumption, the proposal suggests.

The draft recommends that each Greek organization have a male and female faculty advisor, who could hold office hours, attend academic events and review the chapter’s academic performance, among other things.

Chockley said the Greek leaders who authored the document wanted to ensure that administrators understand the Greek houses’ openness to change.

“Until recently, we’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of attention but haven’t really taken the conversation into our own hands,” Chockley said.

The proposal, he said, includes substantive reforms that will make the system safer and more inclusive without eliminating “what we think makes the Dartmouth Greek system so special.”

The document, Chockley said, represents a compromise between several Greek leaders.

“It’s much stronger to present on a unified front,” Chockley said. “We’re facing very similar issues, so it makes a lot of sense for us to come together and present one set of recommendations rather than three sets of conflicting recommendations.”

Chockley said that IFC, Panhell and GIGC leaders reached out to National Association of Latina/o Fraternal Organizations and the National Pan-Hellenic Council leaders without a response. NALFO and NPHC presidents did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

“It is very much a document of compromise, and I think everybody is going to be walking away unhappy,” Cramer said, “but everyone is going to be okay, too.”

Chockley sent the draft to College President Phil Hanlon, interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer, special assistant to the President Laura Hercod and Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helman on Monday, copying Cramer and Funk on the email.

College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email that proposed changes mark “an important contribution” to the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” presidential steering committee’s process of soliciting ideas, calling them “a welcome approach to student accountability.” The committee, tasked by Hanlon in May to address sexual assault, high-risk drinking and inclusivity, is expected to present proposals to the Board of Trustees in January.

The proposal follows a September meeting of Greek leaders with senior administrators in which Hanlon, Helman and “Moving Dartmouth Forward” committee chair Barbara Will urged students to initiate change in their organizations and address freshman safety, hard alcohol, adult oversight of social spaces and new member probationary periods. In the following weeks, sorority and fraternity presidents voted to eliminate pledge terms.

Presidents of Zeta Psi fraternity, Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Tabard coed fraternity declined to comment. All other Greek organization presidents, aside from those of Alpha Theta and Phi Tau coed fraternities, did not respond to requests for comment.​

Drucker is a former member of The Dartmouth senior staff.

Correction appended (November 6, 2014):

The initial version of this article failed to indicate that presidents of Alpha Theta and Phi Tau coed fraternities responded to requests for comment.