Words of Caution

by Emmett M. Hogan | 7/13/01 5:00am

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the article by Kathleen McDermott and Sabrina Peric in Monday's edition of The Dartmouth ("S&S Checks Routine for Some").

Your article lacked two relevant considerations that distinguish affinity houses from Greek houses on the matter of S&S walk-throughs.

The first consideration is that, unlike Greek houses, affinity houses are owned and operated by the College, and are conscientiously administered like dorms. The new policy is objectionable because Greek houses are either privately owned or leased. Property rights, and even the rights of leasing tenants, should imply a differentiation between Greek houses and dorms in terms of interaction with the College and its officials. To argue otherwise is to suggest that Greek houses should be virtually indistinguishable from dorms " which is, in essence, to argue against the very existence of a Greek system.

The second consideration is that Greek houses need to be far more wary of S&S walk-throughs than do affinity houses. Greek houses are required to abide by a large number of regulations, requirements, and Minimum Standards that affinity houses do not have to worry about. Furthermore, the College has left some very important questions unanswered: how frequently will these walk-throughs be conducted? What can they report? What can't they report? If a Greek member is found doing something wrong, is he culpable? Is the house? Can a walk-through be viewed by the College as a violation of Minimum Standards? These questions make clear the fact that the College's new policies may be nothing more than a new set of pitfalls to catch 'faltering' Greek houses. Because the Greeks have many obstacles put before them by the College, they need to be more cautious than do affinity houses. Hence their objection to the new policies is quite reasonable.