No improvements needed

Dr. Barbara Henley, vice president for Student Affairs, has begun a task force to make “improvements” to the current university policies relating to alcohol on Greek Row. The formation of her “task force” comes as a result of a letter written by Dr. Henley to Curtiss Behrens requesting that such a committee be formed.

The rationale provided by Dr. Henley for the creation of this task force was grounded in the fact the Inter-Fraternity Council had proposed, but voted down a policy requiring all fraternities to follow a set of guidelines concerning the use of alcohol and hazing. The guidelines proposed were taken from an insurance policy purchased by about half the houses on Greek Row called Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group (FIPG). In the letter to La Tourette, however, Dr. Henley states falsely: “All but three of the national fraternities represented on our campus are FIPG member.”

At the IFC meeting, during which the policy was voted down, neither our Greeks Affairs Adviser Dawn Sturma nor Dr. Henley was present to hear the discussing that took place. It was an interesting discussion that revealed that, if passed, members of FIPG would be required to only follow FIPG guidelines while other houses would be forced to not only meet their national policies but the obligations of the national policies of the FIPG members as well. This unfairly increases the burden on nearly half of the houses on Greek Row. IFC members made the responsible and fair decision at the following meeting to enforce each houses’ national alcohol policy.

At the same meeting in question, the FIPG hazing policy was voted down. Those reading The Northern Star were led to believe that by voting this policy down fraternities were left without a policy on hazing. I’m positive Dr. Henley is aware the state outlaws hazing. I’m positive Dr. Henley is aware the state currently has an anti-hazing policy, and the University has an anti-hazing policy. During the discussion at the meeting, the current IFC policy was not indicted, so there was no reason to alter the status quo. There are also portions of the FIPG hazing policy which the houses didn’t understand, such as the banning of road trips, which has become a tradition to many houses across the nation, or the banning of scavenger hunts, such as the one sponsored by the university as one of the many Homecoming events all the fraternities took part in this year.

Dealing with agents of the University is incredibly frustrating. In my own experience as an IFC representative and as the president of Pi Kappa Alpha, I feel patronized by members of the administration. I feel that Dr. Henley’s treatment of this situation is indicative of the condescending treatment many greeks have grown to expect. Without ever indicting the alcohol policies of IFC, Dr. Henley created a group to “improve” it. Does it need it? She just assumes it does. IFC would have been happy to work with the university, but you chose to “investigate” us. It is time the university ended its negatively presumptuous approach towards Greek Row.