Defending the ad hoc Greek Affairs Committee

In a Dec. 3 front-page article entitled “Greek-letter members criticize SA ad hoc committee,” Brian Schoeneman, president of Lamda Chi Alpha, and Jason Delp, president of Kappa Sigma, attempt to destroy the credibility of the Student Association’s ad hoc Greek Affairs Committee.

Mr. Schoeneman – whom I personally invited to sit on the committee on two separate occasions – and Mr. Delp said the committee has “neglected its intended goals” and the composition of the committee “destroys the credibility of the committee.” The two also claimed communication with Greek-letter leaders and administrators has been poor.

The GW Hatchet thought it appropriate to proclaim Mr. Schoeneman and Mr. Delp spokesmen for all Greek-letter members. However, a more accurate reflection on the Greek-letter community’s perceptions of the committee comes from the conversations and prepared statements Greek-letter leaders have shared with the committee. More than 75 percent of those who have held formal discussions with the committee have, without solicitation, thanked the committee for its actions and praised the SA.

Regardless, in order to restore any lost faith that might have come from Mr. Delp and Mr. Schoeneman’s statements and Hatchet articles, I will address each issue individually.

First, let me clarify the goals and objectives of the committee:

 The overall goal of the Greek Affairs Committee is to raise awareness of the prevalent issues affecting GW’s Greek-letter community;

 The committee will publish two reports. The first will contain a comprehensive review of GW policies outlined in the Social Responsibilities Manual, considering other universities’ policies with similar Greek-letter community demographics. The second report will contain information on the major problems affecting the Greek-letter community and recommendations on its improvement.

In order to garner the appropriate information to make the reports accurate, the committee is doing the following:

 The committee invites leaders and administrators of the Greek-letter community to formally discuss and address their individual perceptions. Among those who have shared their views with the committee thus far have been the Intrafraternity Council, the Panhellenic organization, the National Panhellenic Council, SA leaders, and several fraternity and sorority presidents and social coordinators.

Several administrators have expressed interest in speaking with the committee and will do so Dec. 11.

 The committee employed the talents of two graduate students and a University professor to create a statistically accurate survey to gauge the general perceptions of Greek-letter community members.

 Committee member and student representative to the University’s Alcohol Review Board Anthony Rizzuto is heading an in-depth review of the University’s Greek-letter organization Social Responsibilities Manual.

 Committee member and SA Executive Vice President Jesse Strauss is heading a comprehensive review of the social policies affecting other universities’ Greek-letter communities.

Mr. Delp and Mr. Schoeneman addressed two issues concerning the committee’s composition: the three brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi and the one brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Each individual called into question acts as an integral part of the committee and brings different expertise to the table. For example, Jacob Pfeffer, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, serves on the IFC Presidents Council, is a well-respected leader within the Greek-letter community and has SA experience. Other members sit on the Dean of Students’ Judicial Services Hearing Board, have held major leadership positions on campus and introduce a diversity of opinions and perspectives.

Everyone who has expressed an interest in participating on the committee has been invited to work in some facet of our research. We are in the practice of including, not excluding.

The issue of communication also has been brought up. To date, we have established a healthy line of communication with the IFC, Panhellenic and NPHC. Both Tracie Anzaldi, coordinator for Greek Affairs and Spirit Events, and Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, have been contacted repeatedly. Not one administrator has ever communicated to me any problems with the committee’s work.

To those who continue to question this committee, I ask that you think before you speak. Realize that the committee has not published any reports yet; all we have done thus far is extensive research. I am confident that the Greek- letter community, administrators and the community at large will be proud of this committee’s final product.

In a recent editorial Becky Neilson, The Hatchet’s editor in chief wrote, “I just want to see students fight for something.” The SA ad hoc Greek Affairs Committee is proactively fighting to help a struggling community.

In an age of resolution-drafting and lengthy debates over minimal issues, rhetoric has stepped out and the Greek Affairs committee has stepped up. Criticize our work if you feel it is appropriate, but I promise you that we are fighting for something; we are fighting for you.

-The writer is chair of the SA ad hoc Greeks Affairs Committee.

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