CFS leaders happy with decision

by Scott Anthony | 11/15/93 6:00am

The Board of Trustees said Saturday it does not plan to examine the College's Greek system in the near future and that reform should be initiated from within.

The decision effectively rids the responsibility of reform on the Trustees and places it on students and administrators.

Last year, former Student Assembly President Andrew Beebe '93 asked the Board to consider forcing the entire Greek system to go co-educational.

Currently, the Trustees are concentrating on the Will to Excel capital campaign and do not have the Greek system on their agenda for the coming year.

Students said they think it is good that the Trustees are removing themselves from the Greek issue.

"Now that we know where the Trustees stand, we can go forward on reforming from within," said Mark Daly '94, the president of the Coed Fraternity Sorority Council.

"The change will come from members from within the houses," he said. "The Trustees are just so removed, I don't think they're interested in interfering in the situation."

Dean of Students Lee Pelton said he agrees any reform of the Greek system should be made internally.

"The Trustees don't micro-manage the College," he said. "They don't involve themselves in day-to-day details of the College."

Erin Murphy '94, a critic of the current Greek system, said one reason the Trustees would not want to address the Greek issue is because they could alienate alumni if they decided to change the system.

Murphy helped spearheaded the campain to vote against the continuation of single-sex houses in an Assembly referendum last week.

Interfraternity Council President Guy Harrison '94 said he thinks students should be the ones making decisions about the future of their social life.

"I don't think change coming from the outside is ever good for the College," he said.

But Harrison said he does not think the students would drastically reform the entire Greek system.

"I'm one of those people who is a pessimist about how sweeping the changes will ever be," he said. "I think the whole system is going to remain for a while."

Any change at the College must ultimately come from the student body, said Chris Carson '95, who organized the vote against the continuation of single-sex organizations in the Greek system.

"It's obvious that students have to really be forces for change for most things on campus," he said. "All instances of significant changes have been from student initiative ... I think the students really should be discussing these issues as students."

Dean of Residential Life Mary Turco said the Board does not typically involve itself with issues of Greek life.

"It's perfectly consistent with decisions made in the past," she said. "They've left it to the administration to work with students to come up with the best social policy for the Dartmouth student body."

"The Trustees are just stepping away and letting others deal with these issues," Turco said.

But not all students said they are happy with the Trustees announcement.

Murphy said she is concerned the Trustees are "washing their hands of the entire matter."

"I remain troubled by the Trustees' ability to utterly dissociate themselves from an issue with sound profound implications," she said.

Murphy said she found it ironic the Trustees' debated the ethical implications of the College's policy towards the Reserve Officer Training Corps program, but now "divorces themselves from the moral issues surrounding our very own Greek system."

Turco said the administration is currently working with members of the Greek system to look at internal reform, specifically in areas of gender equity, hazing laws and rush.

Earlier this fall, the Committee on Student Life asked the Student Assembly to find out whether women have the same resources in the current Greek system, Turco said.

"There are no answers to the questions, it's more what do you think about it," Turco said. "COSL will make some recommendations based on the ideas presented."