College announces house monitoring policy

by Ithan Peltan | 6/25/01 5:00am

Greek leaders responded to the new Initiative policies with cautious disapproval and a call for dialogue with the administration, following the announcement giving Safety and Security officers free access to all undergraduate houses and prohibiting outdoor alcohol consumption.

In a letter addressed to Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman and the assistant deans responsible for the Greek system, house presidents expressed objections to the new policies on the basis of privacy issues.

Signed by almost all summer house presidents, the letter asks for a 10-day "grace period" so that houses may hold consultations among themselves, with administrators and with their advisors.

Greek leaders seemed successful in achieving a unified voice in reaction to the administration's announcement, establishing over the weekend a temporary "Greek Leaders Council" -- an organization that includes all Greek presidents and the heads of the Interfraternity, Panhellenic and Coed Councils.

"The Greek leaders are working together, consulting with their membership and their advisors and formulating a unified response as a reaction to this latest administrative action," Patrick Granfield '03, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity summer president, said.

Sigma Nu summer President John Ashworth '03 said an opposition "at the most basic level," has helped unify the Greek organizations against an "unacceptable" policy.

In addition, a letter sent by 15 Greek affiliated members of the Class of 2002 who are spending the summer in Hanover to Redman and several other high-level administrators strongly criticizes the way the Office of Residential Life notified students.

"The administration's intentions to subvert student discussion of these policies is painfully apparent. It is abundantly clear that their release was carefully orchestrated to affect the CFS system and undergraduate societies in their weakest state -- the beginning of the summer," says the letter, sponsored by Ryan Duffy '02, Jeremy Lepage '02, Allan Klinge '02 and former member of The Dartmouth staff Mark Bubriski '02.

According to the summer presidents' letter, the new policies "raise concerns about the future privacy of all of our respective houses," underscoring house officers' feelings of being "troubled and surprised" by the administration's announcement.

The letter says, "We feel that it is only right to address our concerns before immediate implementation. A cooperative effort on this issue is necessary in order to maintain a positive relationship between the students and the administration of Dartmouth."

The letter also suggests the possibility of a compromise on the points which are troubling the houses.

The formation of such a centralized organization had previously been delayed by leaders in the confusion created by last term's decision of the Coed Fraternity Sorority Council to change over to a Greek Presidents Council in the fall.

CFS presidents said they could not speculate as to what steps might be taken if College administrators are unwilling to work with the houses to create a policy acceptable to all parties involved.

Sig Nu fraternity, however, has already taken concrete action. At the direction of Richard Petty, Sig Nu alumni corporation president and titleholder of the physical plant, the organization denied entry to S&S officers planning on walking through the house as per the new policy on Saturday night.

"We cannot allow entry with express permission until we have spoken to the College about the specific details of this policy in depth and about how it interacts with our insurance coverage and our responsibility as the entity which owns the fraternity," Petty wrote in an email to Redman and S and S officer Robert Young.

Petty told The Dartmouth he did not expect repercussions for the action because no one requested permission from him.