Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 5/15/11 10:00pm

Friday's Verbum Ultimum applauded the initiative of the eight Panhellenic presidents but raised concerns about the logistics of the policy's implementation. What guidelines and standards would you suggest for putting this policy into practice?

Given the extent to which allegations of assault are based on rumor, it's probably best to consider fraternity boycotts on a case-by-case basis. However, the lack of specific guidelines suggests that the efforts of the Panhellenic presidents' may be largely symbolic. It remains to be seen if this is going to be yet another example of a vaguely-defined policy with no meaningful impact.Roger Lott '14

The Dartmouth Editorial Board should not be so quick to assert that "no guidelines have been finalized or released to explain how sororities will deal with he-said she-said accusations that often cannot be corroborated by eyewitnesses." Given the uncomfortable nature of reporting cases of violence, it is inaccurate to assume that an individual would willingly expose her or him to such a process if the incident were trivial. Such "he-said she-said" concerns are central to the priorities of organizations that already deal with assault, in which many of the policy's drafters are involved and with which they stated that they plan to work with in the future. Therefore, I expect that the policy drafted by Greek leaders will be consistent with broader campus guidelines on the issue.Lauren Rosenbaum '11

There needs to be a standard of proof that can be used to determine when a house should be sanctioned. I don't know what that standard should be though it seems unfair that the Panhellenic presidents can make their decisions without first conducting a private hearing of the involved parties. Perhaps sororities should wait until the Judicial Affairs committee makes its own decisions before they act.Josh Kornberg '13To establish legitimacy and ensure the policy's effectiveness, the presidents must clearly define what they view as "assault" and create a transparent investigative process to confirm whether an accusation of assault is valid. The sororities must also gain the explicit support of all Dartmouth fraternities and together create a standardized process of un-sanctioning that will ensure that no members of the offending fraternity will make the same mistake in the future.Yoo Jung Kim '14

It is sad that issues of sexual assult particularly in fraternity basements come down to a basic "he said, she said" standstill, making the implementation of the presidents' policy difficult. However, the beautiful strength of the new policy is a move, even informally, towards sororities forcing fraternity members to class up their acts. Whether a step-by-step implementation process is developed is irrelevant if fraternities are not treating women with common human decency and respect, they should be socially shunned no matter what the official policy.Jacob Batchelor '12

The policy enacted by the Panhellenic presidents borders on destroying the sovereignty of fraternities. The demand of a "hastily" initiated internal adjudication committee will destroy any notion of impartiality within the internal judicial process of fraternities. Moreover, the outside threat of sororities canceling events corrupts the arbitration process. This was not Panhellenic progress, but rather a great blow to gender relations on campus. Jasper Hicks '12

Sororities must be certain to base such decisions on substantiated evidence rather than hearsay. The efficacy of this initiative will be undermined if sororities are seen as acting in haste and without proper deliberation.Keshav Poddar '14