Office of Greek Life launches ‘Greek 101’

by Estephanie Aquino | 4/7/16 5:46pm

The Office of Greek Life, formerly known as Greek Letter Organizations and Societies, launched “Greek 101” last Monday, a two-week-long series of workshops with titles including “Discipline and Dunkins,” “Fried Rice and Fiscal Responsibility” and “DBI and Dumplings.” The programming that included presentations by the Alcohol Management Program, representatives from the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and undergraduate deans, among many other College staff members. Greek executives, who began their tenure this term, were encouraged to attend the workshops in an effort to familiarize the students with college resources available.

Office of Greek Life coordinator Ruth Kett said that the idea for the programming developed from feedback the office has received from Greek officers. Greek presidents used to undergo a day-long mandatory training session, Kett said, but presidents commented that the sessions ran too long.

Kett added that the day-long mandatory training session was decreased to two hours and that the Greek 101 programming was added as supplementary material that could accommodate more students’ schedules.

Workshops were scheduled to begin between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., when the majority of classes were over, and ran from Monday to Friday over the last two weeks.

“In the past we have tried to hold informational sessions between classes as lunches, but the turnout was not as good as it could have been,” she added.

Office of Greek Life coordinator, Karen Afre ’12, added that this was the first time that Greek 101 has been scheduled and despite it being optional, it has had a high attendance rate.

She said that their most popular session, “AMP and Apple Pie,” had about 50 attendants.

“We were hoping for a good turnout but were surprised when we had 50-plus students attend — there was barely enough room for them to fit in the suite,” Afre said.

Afre said that all the workshops had at leas 10 students in attendance.

“We’ve had many fraternity and sorority presidents attend all of the workshops so far, which is impressive since it’s not mandatory,” Afre said.

All of the sessions were held in the Office of Greek Life, and Kett said that the purpose of hosting the events in the office was to allow the students to feel more comfortable in that space.

“We are pretty much an open space and want students to feel more comfortable coming in and asking questions whenever they come up,” Kett said.

Afre added that the Office of Greek Life frequently interacts with Greek presidents but that the Greek 101 programming has allowed them to interact with other Greek officers that they do not typically work with.

AMP director Joe Castelot led a session to address questions and misconceptions about AMP. Safety and Security director Harry Kinne and associate director Keysi Montas addressed the department’s role with AMP during the presentation.

Taylor Watson ’16, who chaired the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy initiative’s social event and alcohol management working group, also helped explain the work that the MDF working group did in relation to AMP. Watson had helped create a feedback survey at the end of the winter term to find out what questions or experiences the houses had had with AMP, Castelot said.

“We touched upon items such as the policy for cancelling events to what the policy is for having kegs at an event, which must be approved by the Office of Student Life and have a keg tag which is provided by the Office of Student Life,” Castelot said,

Castelot added that he hopes students learned that the goal of AMP is to make events safer and better managed.

“Students are now coming to me to talk about their organization’s dry events,” Castelot said. “I see this as a great thing because my goal is to be a resource for students in managing their events. An event should be well managed whether or not alcohol is present and I can already see us moving in that direction.”

While the mandatory training was still held the Saturday before the beginning of the term, the workshops were added to give other members of the Greek community a chance to familiarize themselves with administrators.

Kett and Afre both said that while the original goal was to spread awareness of resources and support provided through the Office of Greek Life, they hope that the relationship between students and the office is strengthened.

“I think our goal was to make them feel comfortable and it seems to be creating a point of contact between Greek life and administrators,” said Kett.

Afre added that they hope to host Greek 101 again in the future, but that the programming will be modified based off of student feedback.

“We value their input, and we want to know what they thought worked at what didn’t, or if there is something else they want to learn about that we didn’t host,” Afre said.

The last workshop will be held next Wednesday. The sessions were extended after additional offices asked to hold sessions for Greek leaders.


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