SA: let 'shmen into Greek parties

by Jennifer Thomas | 5/29/01 5:00am

Last week the Student Assembly passed a near-unanimous resolution urging the Coed Fraternity Sorority Council to rescind its current ban prohibiting first-year students from attending registered social events at Greek houses during their Fall term.

According to Michael Perry '03, who sponsored the resolution, the rule does not achieve its desired goal of encouraging freshmen to explore other social options at Dartmouth.

Rather, because of the relative dearth of such alternatives, Perry said he feels that the rule is both counterproductive and difficult to enforce.

"Instead of making people not want to go to Greek parties, it's more of a forbidden fruit kind of thing," he said, adding that eager freshmen often sneak through windows, back doors and fire escapes in an effort to attend prohibited parties.

Despite the resolution's popularity -- it passed 25-1 at last week's Assembly meeting -- the resolution comes at an unfavorable time given the Greek system's current state of flux.

With the CFSC currently struggling with its own organizational identity in light of last week's dissolution proposal, attention for minor policy changes such as this one may be slow to come.

However, the atmosphere of change the proposal brings with it may actually make the resolution more likely to be included in future Greek discourse.

"Right now we're in the process of reshaping our entire constitution and looking at many of our internal policies," Lauren Lafaro, vice-president of the CFSC, explained. "So I think that it will probably come up in discussion within the next term or two."

Indeed, although the impending overhaul of Greek leadership precluded Lafaro from commenting on the likelihood that the ban would be lifted, she noted that "the idea of making Greek parties more inclusive is a good one."

She did, however, point out that lifting the ban would "require increased effort on the part of individual houses," especially with respect to alcohol.

The resolution also states that the freshman fall rule is usually differentially enforced "on the basis of gender, athletic involvement and other characteristics."

It adds that multiple administrators and students, both affiliated and unaffiliated, have expressed disapproval of the ban.

Both Perry and Student Body President-elect Molly Stutzman '02 told The Dartmouth that they attribute the ban's original impetus partially to miscommunication between the administration and the CFSC.

According to Stutzman, despite the fact that many Greek leaders said they felt pressure from the administration to create the ban in the first place, many administrators do not support its continued existence.

"We talked with a whole variety of administrators who said that the administration did not put that ban into place, and that actually most administrators recognize and agree that the ban is ineffective," Stutzman said.

Unphased by intra-CFSC turmoil, Perry said he is confident that the resolution will "eventually" effect policy change and hopes that the ban will be lifted as soon as this coming fall in order to increase the social options for the incoming Class of 2005.