Over a relatively short period of time, there have been dramatic changes in the fraternity system here at UR. We enter this semester with the loss of two chapter houses on the Fraternity Quad, reducing the number of houses occupied by fraternities on the quad to just five out of the total nine. This is also the first year that freshman recruitment will be deferred to the spring semester. This, of course, poses a series of challenges to individual fraternities and to the fraternal system as a whole. In order to maintain the strength and virility of the Greek community, the Fraternity President’s Council and every chapter’s leaders must be ready to work together towards a common goal. It is our duty to our respective fraternities to maintain the traditions and values set forth by our founders, in most cases, over 100 years ago. It is also our duty, however, to uphold the mission of this university. In the past, these two points of emphasis have been viewed as conflicting and divisive. However, the FPC is certain that this is an absolute fallacy, and we’re not alone. Currently the Greek system is segmented into its representative bodies – namely the Fraternity Presidents’ Council, the Panhellenic Association and the Multicultural Greek Council – and up until very recently there was little interaction among the three groups. However, it is becoming abundantly clear that the entire Greek system’s fate is dynamically tied together. As such, the executives for each Council collaborated to discuss how the Greek system could become more integrated and united. The resultant is the formation of the new all-inclusive United Greek Council. The birth of UGC is mainly due to thecontributions of Jacqueline Boyce (Panhellenic), Alexis Leslie (MGC), Adam Braveman (FPC) and the oversight of Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Miranda Smalls. The Council will meet biweekly and its mission is to increase communication among the entire Greek system. As it stands, the core values of every Greek association naturally overlap a great deal. The UGC will function as a vehicle for promoting these values collectively and on a much greater scale. Already, the United Greek Council has developed “Greek Week,” scheduled from Nov. 12 to Nov. 20 of this year. Within this period of time, fraternities and sororities from all three groups will come together and cosponsor events that will benefit members of the UR community and the Greater Rochester Area. The development of the UGC is not some attempt to appease the administration, nor is it a defensive effort to entrench the Greek community and pit ourselves against the administration. On the contrary, this is just the first of many steps to be taken to coordinate the efforts of the Greek community with the university at large. The administration firmly shares the FPC’s sentiments that Greek values and the university’s mission are congruous. Recently, Dean of The College William Green, Dean of Students Jody Asbury and Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matthew Burns extended an invitation to all members of the Greek community to discuss how to strengthen the Greek system and to reveal the recommendations made by the Committee to Review Fraternities and Sororities. The administration certainly recognizes the current challenges we as Greeks face and they also understand that the preservation of a healthy Greek system is vital to the undergraduate experience here on the River Campus. Of course the relationship between the Greek community and the administration is not perfect. Some people may still feel that Greeks are held to unfair standards in comparison to other campus groups and that ultimately, it is the goal of the administrators to phase out Greek life altogether. However, the administration has adamantly maintained that this is simply not the case. At this sensitive point in time, it is imperative that the administration and the Greek community work constructively and proactively together. Our relationship has too often been limited to obstinate interactions, usually in the face of some kind of disciplinary problem. The resulting piecemeal solutions do nothing to correct what is truly the crux of the problem – distrust and miscommunication. These differences must be overcome and the especially fresh fall air this semester seems to carry with it the positive energy necessary to establish a viable remedy. Lisk can be reached at mlisk@campustimes.org.

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