As elected representatives of the Fraternity and Sorority community here at the University of Rochester, we as a Tri-Council would like to address the recent Impact Petitions addressing the name change of the Fraternity Quad and the subsequent responses elicited by members of Greek Life.
If you are unfamiliar with Tri-Council, we are comprised of the Presidents of the three divisions within Greek Life. Specifically, we represent the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council, which support and advocate for all fraternities and sororities on campus. Each of our councils work to ensure that their branches of Greek Life are upholding the standards and expectations set by the University and our inter/national organizations. The University’s Communal Principles of fairness, freedom, honesty, inclusion, respect, and responsibility are ideals that we try at all times to exemplify as we, along with the University, view these principles as integral building blocks to a strong student body.
In light of these recent petitions, we feel that members of Greek Life have grossly violated the above principles. These actions do not accurately reflect the views of all our councils, chapters, and members. We always encourage open and honest conversations with non-Greek members of our student body, and the responses that were posted and the petition that was posted in response to the original petition to change the name of the Fraternity Quad are recognized as being unnecessarily aggressive and disrespectful. While there were some well-articulated responses by members of Greek Life, we apologize for the responses that were inconsiderate and obstructive to the dialogue that was trying to be established. We would like to take this opportunity to further encourage the dialogue that is pertinent to the conversation and discourage dialogue that is insulting to those who would like to discuss matters with Greek organizations and governing bodies.
Historically, Greek Life organizations were established in order to create organized freedom of discussion for both their members and the community in response to various forms of oppression. These groups gave students the space to share their ideas and experiences with like-minded individuals, but also gave them a platform to engage their fellow students. We do not want to be perceived, nor do we want to act as the aggressors that our organizations were initially founded to overcome. We would like to be a part of any conversation that challenges the status quo. While it is up to the discretion of our organizations’ members to choose how to align themselves in any given argument, we envision future conversations coming from a place of respect and courtesy for the opposition. In the end, regardless of one’s stance in argument, we are all trying to make our campus ever better.