Concerns in the Greek-letter community about the Student Association’s ad hoc Greek Affairs Committee have come to light recently in testimony before the committee.
At a Nov. 22 hearing, Kappa Sigma President Jason Delp said he is concerned with the makeup of the committee and the way the committee is taking testimony.
“I think the committee has been unclear in communicating what its purpose is,” Delp said after testifying. “(The communication) was vague at best. There was a ton of perceptions out there, none of it coming from (the committee).”
Tracie Anzaldi, coordinator for Greek Affairs and Spirit Events, said she still is bewildered about the committee and “what they’re trying to do.”
But Interfraternity Council President Neil Smith said he believes the communication problems no longer exist.
“Initially, there was some miscommunication but that’s been resolved,” he said.
Brian Schoeneman, president of Lambda Chi Alpha, said communication has not been established between the committee and members of Greek-letter organizations. Schoeneman also is SA vice president of judicial and legislative affairs.
“I asked to sit on the committee,” he said. “I really didn’t feel welcome.”
Committee Chair Aaron Chacker, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said “communication has been great.” He said the committee “maintains a symbiotic relationship” with the IFC, the Panhellenic Association and the National Panhellenic Council.
Contention has arisen over the makeup of the committee. Chacker invited interested Greek-letter members to join the committee.
Delp said he thinks the members of the committee do not reflect the Greek-letter community well.
The committee is made up of three brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi, one Kappa Sigma brother, two sisters from Phi Sigma Sigma, one brother of Alpha Phi Alpha – one of the historically black fraternities – and one brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon – a fraternity that does not have University recognition.
“It’s stacking one point of view,” Delp said. “I would prefer if individuals from (the three Greek-letter governing organizations) serve on the committee.”
Chacker said the members of the committee have backgrounds in Greek-letter life and the current members serve because they indicated an interest in the committee.
“It’s a coincidence and nothing more that three brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi are on the committee,” he said. Chacker said everyone in the GW community was invited to serve on the committee.
“Initially, we made a public invitation on the Senate floor to anyone who was interested in joining the committee,” Chacker. “Nobody was told they could not be on the committee. These are the people who expressed an interest in the committee.”
Anzaldi said she is concerned that Matt McGrath, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, serves on the committee.
“It’s not right to have (McGrath) as a member of a committee that is taking on a major issue of the Greek community when (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) is not a part of the Greek community,” she said.
Schoeneman said he also has concerns about a Sigma Alpha Epsilon member serving on the committee.
“Having him on there destroys the credibility of the committee,” he said.
McGrath said he can offer a different perspective and criticism of his service on the committee is unwarranted.
“It’s an easy way to dismiss and not take the committee seriously,” he said.
Smith said he hopes the Sigma Alpha Epsilon member’s service on the committee will be a learning experience.
“Hopefully the committee member from (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) will gain perspective on why its important to be recognized by the University and will share the perspective with his brothers,” he said.
Anzaldi said she has been asked to testify but regrets she has not had further communication with the committee. She said she wished Chacker would have contacted her because she is the administrator with immediate jurisdiction over Greek-letter life.
“I feel he should have done his research before he started asking questions. Part of that research is contacting me,” she said.
Chacker said he was justified in not seeking out discussions with administrators.
“As chair of the committee, as of this date, I have not yet had any formal meeting with administrators because I felt it was important for our conversations to be on an intelligent level,” he said.
Anzaldi said she is willing to testify before the committee to offer an accurate perspective on the status of Greek-letter life.
“I think I can offer a factual perspective,” she said.
Schoeneman said the committee has lost its course and neglected its intended goals.
“It’s gotten out of hand,” he said. “They should kill it now and go back to being a Student Life committee.”