GW approves IFC self-governance

GW approved the Interfraternity Council’s self-governance policy Friday, giving the group power to make judicial decisions regulating minor violations within the body’s 11 fraternities.

I’m very excited we’ve had so much University support, so much internal interest, IFC President Jay Levin said. Working together is going to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks.

The purpose of the self-governance policy is to challenge the member chapters of the IFC to uphold certain basic obligations and hold each fraternity accountable for its actions, according to the revised document.

Under the new process, Student Judicial Services will forward any report or notification of an alleged violation that it deems appropriate to the IFC president. Then the IFC vice president of judicial affairs will investigate and may charge a member fraternity.

The IFC will then convene a judicial hearing board, which will determine whether the charged organization has violated Greek-letter code, according to the policy.

The IFC will handle minor charges like alcohol violations and misconduct, while Student Judicial Services will maintain judicial control over serious matters like hazing and sexual harassment, Levin said.

GW has approved self-governance several times in the past 10 years, but the policy never lasted more than about a three months, Levin said.

I joked I’ve been signing these things since 1992, Associate Dean of Students Jan-Mitchell Sherrill said. The real problem has not been getting it approved, but in getting the IFC to keep it going.

Last week the IFC trained 12 fraternity members from six chapters to sit on the five-member hearing board and plans to train 12 more members Oct. 6, Levin said. He said the IFC aims to train about 25 members – at least two from each fraternity.

Five to 10 people can sit on the board at one time, Levin said.

The IFC will begin reviewing cases Oct. 6, when more members complete their training, Levin said.

During the training, which is similar to SJS training, members participate in mock hearings and learn about the violations and penalties appropriate for specific offenses.

The hearing, that’s key, Levin said. Until you see it, you don’t really know how it goes.

Levin said he was surprised to receive approval so soon. Members originally thought approval would not come for several more months, he said.

We expected to be where we are now at the end of the semester, which means we’ll be in October where we would’ve been in the spring, Levin said.

Last year’s IFC president, Seth Greenberg, and other IFC members began working on the plan a year ago, when members researched other self-governance plans and began to write the policies that are currently in effect.

Sherrill said the next challenge is keeping the IFC’s enthusiasm alive to propel the whole self-governance forward beyond this year.

The success of the new policy hinges on how well IFC members function as a group, Levin said.

It isn’t my efforts that are going to make self-governance a success, Levin said. It’s all of us working together.

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