Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

CFS leaders predict system will survive

As the Trustee Committee on the Student Life Initiative prepares to draft its final report on the future of social and residential life at the College, campus Greek leaders said they remain confident that immediate elimination of the Greek system will not be included in the proposal.

But despite the prevailing sense of optimism, opinions are varied as to whether the long-term goal of the Trustees is the eventual termination of Greek life at Dartmouth.

"I don't think in three months we are going to have the elimination of the Greek System," said Jaimie Paul '00, president of the Coed, Fraternity and Sorority Council President who met with the Steering committee this weekend.

But when asked if the eventual aim of the Trustees is to remove the Greek system, Paul said, "I think that might be true... only time will tell."

Gamma Delta Chi fraternity president Matt Schroeder '00 said he is confident that the Trustees are looking to replace, not add to, the Greek system.

He added, however that "alumni and students will be outraged if they take it away right now."

President of the Interfraternity Council Hondo Sen '00 disagreed.

Rejecting claims that the Trustees plan to eventually eliminate Greek life from Dartmouth, Sen said the College is only looking to decrease some of the negative influences of current Greek life -- such as the extent of alcohol abuse in the system.

"If we oppose change to the system, only then will the system itself be threatened," Sen said.

Many Greek house presidents agree the College is first looking to increase viable social options to the strong Greek system.

"The Greek system is still going to exist at the College but there will be a lot of other options, too," predicted Andy Louis '00, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity president.

Satisfied with the manner in which the Steering committee has heard student opinions, fraternity and sorority leaders around campus agree that the status quo will definitely not remain -- the Greek system will undergo changes and that curbing alcohol abuse will be the main focus of the decision.

However, there is no consensus among leaders on exactly what these changes will be.

"I think the College will go to a 7-7-7 system with seven fraternities, seven sororities and seven coed houses," Schroeder said.

Sen said the system is likely to experience "significant changes" with the Trustees retaining certain parts of it and recognizing and solving problems in other parts of it.

Admitting the existence of alcohol-related problems within the Greek system, all leaders interviewed by The Dartmouth predicted alcohol abuse would be the main focus of the recommendations.

"I think it will try to balance the social scene with more non-alcoholic events for students," Schroeder said,

Despite the recent surge of strong anti-Greek sentiment by some members of the campus calling for the eradication of the system, fraternity and sorority leaders do not seem worried that the recommendations will be against them.

All Greek leaders interviewed by The Dartmouth said the anti-Greek advocates have a right to express their opinions, which is not necessarily threatening to the existence of the system.

"These are all people I respect a lot," Paul said. "I definitely don't agree with them and don't find their views threatening" to the system.

According to a poll conducted by The Dartmouth last February, 83 percent of the student body voted in favor of retaining the system. Referring to the poll, Schroeder said the Greeks enjoy a strong majority support, adding few members voicing opinions against it is natural and not threatening.

Sen said controversy and conflict is always good, and he is happy that there are people who are disagreeing, adding that such constructive dialogue will make the recommendations stronger.

Although un-alarmed by such opinions, Greek leaders were somewhat disappointed with the judgmental nature of the Greek system critics.

"It is very difficult to be against a system in which you have never taken part," Kappa Delta Epsilon president Anne Mullins '00 said.

Greek leaders admitted that the Steering committee, with its five student members, has been inclusive of student opinion -- another reason to believe that the popular Greek system will not be eliminated.

After the Initiative was misinterpreted as a decision already made to eradicate the Greeks, the committee has played a great role in encouraging student opinion, Mullins said.

"The Committee has done an excellent job; they put the ball in the students' court," Theta Delta Chi fraternity president John Silkey '00 said.