The UR Sorority and Fraternity Review Committee has been planning major changes to the structure of the Greek community on campus.
“A lot of students are involved and I am pleased at how it is going so far,” Dean of Students and Management Committee Co-Chair Jody Asbury said. “The goals of the committees are to restructure the management and to develop a shared understanding of what it means to be Greek at the university.”
The committee was created last year to form a partnership between the administration of the college and Greek life on campus.
Through biweekly meetings, three successful subcommittees have been created to solve some past problems.
“My impression is that the changes forthcoming from this joint venture will have dramatic, positive and long-lasting effects on fraternity and sorority life and the campus as a whole,” Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matthew Burns said. Burns is Co-Chairman of the Standards Subcommittee.
The members of these committees include Burns, Asbury and Dean of The College William Green.
The Fraternity and Sorority Management Committee was created with two subcommittees – one on the standards for Greek life and the other on the facilities used by the Greek community.
Each committee has met at least once to outline its future goals.
The Management Committee is chaired by Asbury, senior and Sigma Alpha Mu Vice President Adam Braveman and senior Alexis Leslie.
The committee has met frequently this year to oversee the two subcommittees and to help Greek life work with the administration to be active in their individual chapters.
“Greek organizations are all very different,” Braveman said. “Each chapter has its own individual goals. Before everyone was lumped together but it can’t really work like that.”
“The implementation of this structure is a tremendous undertaking by both the college and the fraternities and sororities within it, and demands cooperation among groups on an almost unprecedented scale,” Burns said. “It’s a very exciting time.”
The two subcommittees are working to ensure that there are standards met across the entire Greek community.
Ideally, these principles will be outlined at the beginning of each year in a workshop.
Each chapter will sit down with the administration to draw out their goals for the upcoming year.
At the end of the year, the administration will award points corresponding to the initial meeting. Failing chapters will face a punishment. If possible, the workshops will start next semester.
“We talked about the purpose of the college and about the character of each chapter and how the two connect,” Asbury said.
Finances have also come into play in the second subcommittee, which is working to create one uniform system for how fraternities can spend their money.
“Finance now is so ornate,” Asbury said. “We are planning a long-term finance plan as well as looking at the housing facilities in need.”
This subcommittee is chaired by Senior Operations Officer Ovide Corriveau, sophomore Kumiko Tanaka and senior Colin Woodworth.
The committees will also modify the Greek legal system.
“There were two incidents in the past two years,” Asbury said.
“We would be neglectful if we hadn’t stepped back and done something,” Asbury said.
“Going through the ACJC [for review of our problems] wasn’t working,” Braveman said. “Now we will try to work with the administration and be proactive in our changes.
“The ultimate goal is for the Greeks and the college to work together,” Braveman continued. “It’s going to take a couple of years. We will not see results next semester.”
Despite some intial criticism from fellow fraternity and sorority members, Braveman believes that the committee will eventually prove its worth.
“I can see why people would think that [we have not made any accomplishments],” Braveman said. “However, a lot is being done and I think these are really positive changes.
“We brought it upon ourselves,” Braveman said. “You have to crack down at some point.”
One product of the committees is next week’s Greek Week, a philanthropic blitz of various academic programs that chapters are sponsoring.
“The campus’s commitment to creating a positive, forward-looking fraternity and sorority system here should be evident in a number of ways, not the least of which is the list of high-level participants, both student and administrative, on the committees,” Burns said.
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