The Student Association agreed Tuesday to create an ad hoc committee to consider and review matters relevant to life in GW Greek-letter organizations.
The committee will examine Greek-letter issues and advise the Senate’s Student Life Committee and the Senate about these matters, SA Executive Vice President Jesse Strauss said.
Undergraduate Sen. Aaron Chacker (CSAS), a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, has been designated by Strauss to chair the ad hoc committee. Other members’ names will be submitted to Strauss within the next week.
But leaders of the Greek-letter system outside the SA said they were unaware of the newly established committee.
“(I) had no idea about the resolution,” said Interfraternity Council President Neil Smith, whose organization oversees the actions of recognized fraternities on campus. He said he was not contacted by members of the SA before or after the Senate approved formation of the committee.
Chacker said the committee is necessary because GW’s Greek-letter community is suffering.
“There are unnecessary rules and regulations on the Greek community – social rules that are oppressive,” he said. “The Greek community is very susceptible to criticism. They’re always an easy target.”
Tracie Anzaldi, coordinator of Greek affairs and spirit events, disagreed and said Chacker is unfamiliar with the rules that govern fraternities and sororities.
“The person who uttered that statement is completely ignorant of the national risk-management policy,” she said. “I could practically guarantee that the national risk-management policy is stricter than the University’s policies.”
Chacker said he hopes the new rules the committee creates will be successful.
“The University is oppressing the Greek community,” Chacker said. “The reason that people are sitting in their rooms in Thurston Hall drinking hard liquor is because they have no party to go to . because the Greek community is being suppressed.”
“The SA has zero power,” Anzaldi said. “They have no power over Greek life. Furthermore, the Greek organizations are subject to the same ordinances as the rest of the University.”
Chacker said social rules such as the University’s alcohol policy need revision. Fraternities are not like other student organizations on campus and should have different regulations, he said.
“The IFC, at least, has tried to minimize our pain, but they’re being oppressed by the same regulations,” Chacker said. “Some of our issues deal with the party patrol, which at this point will create inter-fraternity friction, with students policing other students.”
“The fact that they have developed this committee without contacting the IFC seems to show that they are not looking for our cooperation,” Smith said.
Freshman Sen. Heath Hanson, pledge class president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which is not under the auspices of the IFC, defended the committee.
“A large majority of leadership on campus comes from the Greek community,” Hanson said. “This committee will better channel that leadership.”
“I couldn’t care less that the resolution passed,” Anzaldi said. “The bottom line is that (the SA senators) have no power.”