by Kevan Higgins | 4/16/99 5:00am

First of all, everyone go to the Block party this weekend. It will be awesome.

Now on with the hijinx. I have to comment on what's going on in the Student Assembly these past couple weeks. Yesterday, four '02s wrote a letter to the editor lambasting the Student Assembly for passing a resolution that "ignores nonaffiliated interests." To that I say: DUH!

While I will concede the fact that the Student Assembly up until this year has been composed largely of non-Greeks, and while I will further concede that much of the work done in the past three years to make the Student Assembly a cohesive, involved and serious organization was done by the same people who may now feel that the Assembly has prostituted itself to Greek interests, that does not negate the right of Greeks to be present and have a say in the Assembly. The Assembly is the representative body of the students. Right now, the most pressing issue for many students is the Greek issue. That Greeks have motivated themselves to exert their rightful influence through one of their legitimate student outlets cannot be found to be wrong, unless it openly prejudices its actions against the unaffiliated students.

And that is clearly not the case here. Yes, the Greeks want to be left alone. We want to have the right of self-determination in our fate. Many of us think that we've done a great job in the past year of reinventing Greek life at Dartmouth. We do not say that the five principles are bad, because they are not. But their implementation should only be done to affect those people who do not currently find those principles in effect on campus. I certainly feel completely happy with the Greek system as fulfilling currently the relevant principles, though clearly alcohol abuse needs to be worked on.

The College has recognized that many on campus are unhappy with the Greek system as the only social option. That is a great thing. People who are unhappy can get what they want. But what about the people who are happy now? The SA resolution absolutely did not represent nonaffiliated interests. And I say damn right it didn't, and what the hell is wrong with that? The letter yesterday said "Changes to CFS must consider the interests of all." That's a load of hooey. Changes to Dartmouth must consider the interests of CFS. And the Greek members of the Student Assembly asserted that yesterday. The Greek system is responsible to its members first and to the community second. The fact that we provide free beer at our own expense for the drinking leisure of our unaffiliated comrades does not give the community the right to decide how we will govern ourselves in the future. The College is going to create alternatives for those of us who do not want the current system. And that's great.

It may even do what I think we should do and create more sororities, while expanding options for those who don't like Greek parties, etc. It's simply a question of alternative versus replacement.

Further, exclusivity is a non-issue. Many claim that there are low minority numbers in Greek houses. That is true in many cases, but not in all. It's not even clear who's being exclusive. I don't know of a house that wouldn't like it's minority presence to be greater. There is a lack of communication and understanding between minorities and houses, but it would be irresponsible to blame the Greeks exclusively and not minorities as well.

In addition, all women who choose to are guaranteed a house. The creation of more sororities would allow even more people to find a niche in even smaller women's organizations.

The fraternity system could be said to be exclusive. But that is only in the interest of keeping the closeness. If everyone who rushed AD for example joined AD, the house would be in the 150 brother range and would lose its aspects of family and community, that which most Greeks hold dearest. While it may not be possible to join every house if you want, it can definitely be said that the various houses are all different and that there is a house that will fit you.

The Greeks have motivated through all means available to us. Our message is simple. We want to stay, and we deserve to. If student opinion at one point or another becomes rampant against us, then it will be easy for the Student Assembly and the Dartmouth community at large to condemn us. However, right now, we are fighting for our families, our homes and our right to freedom of association, and we may lose sight of the interests of unaffiliated students. But we certainly aren't going to infringe on them, and it's your responsibility to make sure that whatever interests you have are made clear. Greeks will back whatever unaffiliateds want as alternatives to Greek life, but not replacements.