GLC lifts ban on freshmen at fall Greek parties

by Charles Gardner | 10/31/01 6:00am

Greek Leadership Council members last night announced the end of a longstanding policy barring first-year students from registered events at Greek houses during the Fall term.

Under the new policy, which goes into effect today, individual houses will be granted the authority to decide whether they will admit freshmen to registered Fall term parties.

The policy change, which was made during last week's meeting of the GLC, was announced by Eric Powers '02, President of the Interfraternity Council, and Chanel Frazier '03, President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, at last night's Student Assembly meeting.

Powers said that the change had been discussed for months, both under the CFSC, which the GLC replaced, and by the current Greek leadership.

"I would say that there was criticism about the previous policy from the administration and students alike, that it was unnecessary and that it was unfairly enforced," Powers said.

In changing the policy, Powers said, the GLC was simply acknowledging the realities of the Greek system. "One reality is that first-year students are going to get into Greek houses," he said.

By admitting students voluntarily, Powers hoped that houses would prevent damage caused by the forcible entrance of freshmen through windows, fire escapes and other means, and would avoid the unfair and unequal enforcement of the ban.

Powers also talked of the influence of Student Assembly, which for months had pressured the Greek leadership to lift the ban. Last May, the Assembly passed a resolution urging a policy change, listing a wide range of reasons why the ban on first-year students was ineffective in its goals.

"This was an idea we had been discussing for a while, but the SA resolution really pushed us over the edge and made us realize that there was widespread support for this change," Powers said.

Student Body President Molly Stutzman '02, who as Chair of last year's Student Life Committee was one of those who authored the resolution, praised the GLC's decision.

"I think this recent decision shows that the GLC is trying to be proactive and allow individual houses to make decisions for themselves," she said.

"Student Assembly passed this resolution last spring because we saw how unequally it was applied and how it actually encouraged first-year students to go into houses ... this fall the new GLC looked at the policies of the CFSC and decided not to continue this one in particular."

The change only affects registered events at Greek houses, according to Powers. First-years had not previously been banned from other events held at the houses.

Also achieved at the meeting was the passage of a resolution providing $3,000 in funding for three $1,000 campus events to be held each term over the course of the year.

The money, which was given to the Assembly's Student Organizations Committee, is specifically designated for events that bring together various student organizations in their planning.

"Its purpose is to facilitate the interaction of diverse groups," said Sean Oh '04, Student Organizations Chair, who along with John Kupiec '04 and Daniel Hassouni '05 sponsored the resolution.

Student organizations will apply for the funding, which will be allocated by the Committee for the proposed event it deems most worthy.