Greek leaders push back on Marvin Center plans

Members of the Greek community are fighting back against a University decision to relocate Greek life staff to the fifth floor of the Marvin Center – separate from student organizations – as part of a broader overhaul of the building’s space.

Leaders of the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Association and Multicultural Greek Council are lobbying administrators to remain in their current location with the four employees that oversee the Greek community.

The fourth floor room includes individual offices for staff – which includes two full-time employees and two graduate students – as well as collaborative space and storage that can be used by all Greek organizations. With the move, the student groups will be given offices on the fourth floor while all Center for Student Engagement staff are moved to fifth floor office space.

Marta Cofone, president of Panhel, said the Greek life office needs to be “visible, accessible and open to the average student” to keep up relationships with hundreds of students in dozens of chapters.

IFC President Dan Gil said the three umbrella groups want to remain in close proximity to Greek life staff because the advisers are instrumental in coordinating social and service events, networking with national branches and mitigating concerns within chapters.

“We’re not asking for more,” the junior said. “We just want to keep what we have now.”

The frustrated team of students held meetings with Dean of Students Peter Konwerski and CSE director Tim Miller this week, who gave the student-run Marvin Center Governing Board a chance to rethink Greek life space.

Dylan Pyne, chair of the board, said his group would consider the Greek student leaders’ requests to keep their staff on the fourth floor, while weighing the needs of other student organizations during this year’s office allocations.

The governing board will make decisions about future occupants of the 57 student offices, out of 93 applications, Friday.

Gil said if the University’s Greek life staff is relocated to the fifth floor “in a sea of cubicles,” their relationships with students would suffer.

The council leaders launched a petition last week calling on students to “save the Greek Life office,” which collected 400 signatures in two days.

Greek Life director Christina Witkowicki did not return multiple requests for comment.

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