New GLC policy strives to be ‘self-enforcing'

by Taylor Malmsheimer and Madison Pauly | 6/24/13 10:00pm

by Anna Davies and Anna Davies / The Dartmouth

Representatives from the Inter-Fraternity Council said they hope the punishments established will deter freshmen from entering events not approved by GLC and compel Greek organizations to report violations that occur in their houses.

Freshmen who violate the policy will not be allowed to participate in Greek recruitment the following year, while Greek houses hosting first-year students will be required to pay a fee. The GLC has yet to determine the amount that Greek houses will be fined.

"Hopefully, it's self-enforcing because there's penalties both for the freshmen and for the fraternity," IFC summer president Chase Schoelkopf '15 said. "No one's going to want to lose their rush eligibility, and no one's going to want to pay heavy fines."

If someone unaffiliated with a house reports a violation, that house will receive a larger fine than if one of its members reported the incident, Schoelkopf said. The policy also calls for first-year students to have distinct ID cards, which Schoelkopf said will help distinguish freshmen from other students.

Schoelkopf, IFC president Gunnar Shaw '14 and Panhellenic Council president Eliana Piper '14 said they expect to encounter challenges as the policy is implemented.

Shaw said that each violation of the policy will be reviewed on a "case by case basis."

"If a freshman is in a house, the members of that organization or an upperclassman will ask them to leave, and if they leave, then that's that," Shaw said.

Schoelkopf said the policy has the potential to lower Good Samaritan numbers. He added that if there is an "uptick" in Good Sam reports, it may signal that Greek houses are safer spaces than residence halls and dormitories.

The policy's effectiveness will be measured by feedback from the Greek community, which will be discussed at GLC sub-council meetings, Shaw said.

Carlos Chavira '17 said first-year students who want to drink will find ways to obtain alcohol.

"The only difference will be that they will drink at their dorms in a more underground and obscure way," Chavira said.

Shaw said the IFC understands that first-year students will find alternative means of drinking, but that the policy aims to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents involving freshmen.

Substance-free events sponsored by Greek houses that obtain GLC approval will be open to freshmen and subsidized by the Deans Office.

"Their first experience in the fraternity is not going to be during a big party," Shaw said. "I think it's going to help in removing any stereotypes or things you might hear."

Piper said the new policy will provide students with more chances to visit Greek spaces without feeling pressured to drink.

"From a sorority standpoint, we hope to use this as an opportunity for freshwomen to get to know sorority houses as a social space before rush," Piper said in an email. "I think having freshmen interact in female-dominated social spaces earlier will be extremely beneficial to the social culture at Dartmouth."

Piper said the council hope to have events scheduled on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, ranging from outdoor barbecues to "dry dance parties," which Alpha Delta fraternity held while on probation, Schoelkopf said.

Chavira said that Greek-sponsored, substance-free events could have been planned without banning freshmen from Greek houses that are serving alcohol. Chavira said the policy takes the aspect of "inclusiveness" away from the College's social scene, a factor that influenced his decision to apply early to Dartmouth.

"The cons outweigh the pros, because even though it may deter some students, it will just take away the Dartmouth experience for freshmen who want to get to know more people and who will be ostracized for the first six weeks," Chavira said.

Although the Office of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies was not directly involved in the creation of the policy, it will support the GLC as it enacts the policy, GLOS director Wes Schaub said.

"Anything that we do to help smooth out the transition and help first-year students come in and discover their own perceptions of what it's like to be at Dartmouth, instead of absorbing other people's perceptions of how it's supposed to be, is good," Schaub said. "Right now we're working with the summer GLC officers to establish a way for people to get approval for non-alcoholic events."

One of the largest challenges the GLC will face is ensuring that first-year students understand the consequences of violating the policy, Schaub said. The GLC plans to send incoming freshmen a pamphlet explaining the new regulations.

GLC moderator Elliot Sanborn '14 did not respond to a request for comment.

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