Opposition raised over decision on little sisters

By Claudia Curry

The recent disbanding of the little sisters program at NIU has raised opposing viewpoints from fraternity officers and Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs.

Dalton said the sanction does not immediately ban the little sister program. The policy says fraternities must terminate the programs by the end of the semester, he said.

The decision was made out of concern for the welfare and safety of students, Dalton said. “My intent was to get their (the fraternities) input, but under the circumstances of last semester and considering the events which occurred, I felt it was important to act promptly.”

Dalton said he values the fraternities’ input, but since the welfare and safety of NIU students was at stake, he felt the university should act.

Steve Sedlacek, Sigma Pi little sister chairman, said he felt the decision to disband the little sisters program was not fair or considered carefully enough. “I know that they didn’t take a look at our program individually.”

Sedlacek said the program at Sigma Pi “is a positive and strong program and the little sisters have a good time while they can turn to any of the house members for help if they ever need it, whether it’s an academic or social problem.”

This semester, Sigma Pi will have little sisters and a little sister rush program, which will end in May because of the sanction, he said. “I’m sure that Jon Dalton had no idea that we are going to have a blood drive, CPR course, and lectures on sexual assualt and alcohol awareness at our meetings.

“These are positive programs which we talked about and planned last semester before the sanction came out, so we’re not doing these things just because of the sanction. ” Sedlacek said.

Greg Mears, Sigma Alpha Mu president, said, “We don’t look down upon our little sisters or the program at our fraternity. We look at them (little sisters) as friends but I think it’s a program that has lost its time.”

Mears said the disbanding will probably make the greek system stronger, but is concerned about the problems which might arise without little sister programs. “This year we did Homecoming with our little sisters, and since the number of fraternities is larger than the number of sororities here, we hope that we’ll be able to work something out with the pairing up of houses for those kind of events.”

Mears said the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity will be having little sisters and a little sister rush program this semester, but will end the program in April.

George Dobie, Phi Kappa Theta little sister coordinator, said, “I think the disbanding will probably make the greek system at NIU worse. A lot of the girls who pledged as a little sister last semester did so because they didn’t want to be so involved like you have to be when joining a sorority.”

Dobie said he feels the sanctioning was unfair because the Phi Kappa Theta program operated productively with positive results.

He said the program “gave the girls an idea of what the greek system is all about. It gave them an opportunity to meet some people involved in both fraternities and sororities and let them decide if it was something they would enjoy being more involved in.”

Tom Carter, Phi Kappa Theta member, said he felt Dalton’s decision was made too soon. “They should have looked into it more and found out how the little sisters felt about it.”

Phi Kappa Theta will have a little sisters program this semester, but not a rush program. “We’re going to finish up the events which we already planned with our little sisters last semester, but after that it’s over,” Dobie said.

Both Mears and Dobie said their national chapters have made resolutions against little sister programs.