Greek 'Self-Evaluation'

by House Editorial | 1/26/94 6:00am

An inquiry by the Greek Life Evaluation Committee formed by the heads of the Greek umbrella organizations would be similar to the question asked by Snow White's step-mother to her magic mirror, who is the fairest of them all.

Does the Co-ed Fraternity Sorority Council really want an honest answer? Probably not.

It is also fair to say that even if this student committee found problems, it could not possibly even begin to address them in any way that would actually affect students' lives.

The issues raised in the Committee on Diversity and Community at Dartmouth report and the Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment report are weighty. Both reports said the Greek system is a real obstacle to the College's goal of creating a real community where diversity is welcomed and students of any race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation can call Dartmouth a comfortable home.

What this new Greek evaluation committee proposes to do, in order to save the system and make life dandy for everyone, is too simple a solution. It wants to "solicit responses from the College at large" in the form of questionnaires as well as accept unsolicited evaluations from anyone who bothers to submit one. Then from this survey of opinions, it hopes to "make concrete recommendations for the future of the CFS system" to the Board of Trustees, College President James Freedman, Dean of the College Lee Pelton, Dean of Residential Life Mary Turco and Assistant ORL Dean Deb Reinders, as well as to the rest of the Dartmouth community.

Will anyone care about their concrete recommendations? Probably not. Who is going to listen to this group of students criticize itself and believe what they are hearing is an objective, fair and accurate self-appraisal? Definitely not the Board of Trustees.

If the Greek council really wants to reform the system and help make Dartmouth a better institution, it should not try to hide its defensiveness under the guise of a "pro-active" appearance.

The CFSC's new committee will destroy its own legitimacy by trying to make recommendations to the Trustees after "evaluating" the Greek system it represents. If it does so, it will render itself useless to the Greek system and the College. The CFSC should use its new committee for the sole purpose of canvassing student opinion. It should ask the real questions. It should ask those who love their house or the system, why? It should ask minorities how they feel in the Greek system, and why? It should ask those who depledged, why? It should ask those who chose not to join a Greek house, why? There are problems in the Greek system. The sooner everyone admits to them, the quicker we can all move on with achieving what we are really here for - learning. Learning about ourselves, and about one another.

The only committee that will be heard and will have the capacity to make a serious evaluation of the Greek system is one comprised of administrators, professors, alumni, Trustees and students, both Greek and non-Greek. That is the committee the Board of Trustees and the College community will trust.