Self-governance not a “Bad Plan”

Upon reading The GW Hatchet staff editorial entitled “Bad Plan,” published Sept. 16, I found myself at first infuriated, then just amused.

This letter could only have been written by someone who knows enough information about what the Interfraternity Council is, and what we have been attempting to accomplish for quite some time now. Yet they do not because they are blatantly mocking what we stand for, and I am sure that the writer does not even belong to the Greek-letter community.

What people think about us is their prerogative, and I have to respect their opinion because we all have the right to our opinions. Of course, they only get my respect if their opinion is warranted and made from an educated point of view (which all too often on this campus it is not). As a member of the IFC and the president of a fraternity on campus, I feel obligated to educate you so your opinions might not be made hastily, and then ask for your support.

I feel a line had been crossed when the staff editorial made assumptions about the IFC’s push for a self-governance policy. The writer’s examples for why this should never come about are completely unwarranted. They believe that “if one fraternity member punished a member of another fraternity, the potential for revenge would become heightened.” Well, the last time I checked, and I have only been here for two and a half years, I have not been witness to or heard of any interfraternity tension on campus. Not to mention that the Greek Governing Board consists of members from many fraternities, not just one. That is the point, to be accountable for each other.

Remaining under Student Judicial Services’ supervision does not promote this ideal. In fact, it is SJS that has been pushing for us to get this concept off the ground! When this concept of self-governance finally does materialize it will offer our community swifter action on those that do make mistakes, without the “red-tape” and mounds of paperwork that take time to go through SJS. Currently the only way SJS supervises on-campus fraternities is through the University Police Department. Most of the time they do not even know if anything is happening in our community until after something goes wrong, at which point it is too late to do something about it.

By establishing self-governance, we will stop the problems before they start to ensure a better Greek-letter community. However, the writer of last week’s editorial seemed to overlook this fact. Secondly, SJS already has an all Greek-letter hearing board that is called to assess violations by fraternities and sororities that are on trial. If this is not apparent enough evidence that SJS wants the Greek-letter community to be accountable for its own actions, then I do not know what is.

As far as the writer’s concerns about our “ineffectiveness” as a self-governing body, I just want to point out that we have been doing it for quite some time now with the all Greek-letter hearing boards. We have also had our first two semesters of self-governance during IFC rush, both of which were successful and went off without a hitch.

The IFC’s first and foremost ideal is to promote a unified Greek-letter community. A community where out of trust, responsibility, and communication comes years of service and enjoyment at a level that most people do not have the opportunity to experience because of their misinformed judgments and unwarranted prejudices. If the writer does not want us to be accountable for our own actions, then I have but one thing to say to that person: it’s none of your business, and if you are not going to support us, why bring us down?

-The writer is president of Phi Kappa Psi.

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