Interfraternity Council members said they anticipate the University approving a new self-governance policy before the end of the semester, which would give the IFC jurisdiction over the majority of fraternity violations on campus.
The IFC would decide punishment for a fraternity when it commits a violation such as serving alcohol to minors or having an unregistered party, said IFC President Norman Pentelovitch.
Student Judicial Services would still handle all serious violations, such as severe alcohol and drug use. Incidents involving members of the IFC outside fraternity activities would also fall under SJS’ jurisdiction.
“I have a judicial board all set up, so we’re ready to go,” Pentelovitch said. “As soon as I get the OK, we’re ready to start.”
Each on-campus fraternity will have a seat on the board, with two members of each fraternity rotating after every case.
After determining fault, the punishments the IFC can dole out would include community service, fines and alcohol management training. The governing panel would deliberate a case, with a majority vote determining the outcome.
Although the majority of punishments would be based on SJS guidelines, Pentelovitch said the board could use its own discretion when determining punishment in some cases.
“We will tailor to our needs as we see fit,” Pentelovich said. “For the most part, we use the guidelines SJS has set up for punishments. We pretty much stick by what they have unless it’s a special case and we can come up with a different solution.”
The IFC employed self-governance in the past, but the practice was discontinued in 2000.
“It sort of lapsed … In the past couple of years there was no drive to do it,” Pentelovich said. “The IFC exists as a self-governing body, and we need to take that take responsibility upon ourselves.”
Laura Taddeucci Downs, director of the Student Activities Center, which oversees IFC policy, said she is looking forward to seeing self-governance reinstated.
“Really, the more that you get the Interfraternity Council invested in (self-governance), (the more) they take responsibility for each other’s behavior,” Downs said. “When the Interfraternity Council was more involved in self-governance (it) … took much more responsibility.”
“It’s been successful at other schools. It’s been successful in the past,” Downs added. “We have every reason to believe it would work again.”
Although some students raised concerns about the IFC handing out punishments unfairly, officials said they are unconcerned.
“Self-governance allows fraternities to address the behaviors to the best of their ability. I’m not overly concerned with leniency,” said Sarah Janczuk, assistant director of SJS.
“A decision is handed down that is generally more suitable because we are more familiar with the violations,” Pentelovitch said. “We’ll take up some of the slack for (the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education) and SJS.”
Some fraternity presidents said they are supportive of self-governance.
“To take the smaller matters and deal with them on our own makes us more responsible as a Greek community,” said Paul Kennedy, president of Kappa Sigma. “Its going to take a lot of work, but the potential is definitely there.”
“I’m pretty good friends with (Pentelovitch), and we’ve gone over everything together,” said Delta Tau Delta President Clifton Coffey. “We feel that separating from SJS right now shows the school and all the people in charge that we’re capable of making decisions and handling things ourselves.”
-Michael Barnett and Julie Gordon contributed to this report.