IFC looks to improve diversity, inclusion efforts following internal review

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Jack Fonseca | Contributing Photo Editor

IFC President Jared Levinson said the “internal audit” will allow fraternities to develop clearer policies surrounding diversity and inclusion.

The Interfraternity Council will inspect its chapters’ governing documents this fall to determine how to increase diversity and inclusion within fraternities.

IFC President Jared Levinson said members of the organization will review the governing documents of the 16 fraternities to search for and edit language that does not align with values of diversity and inclusion. Levinson said the “internal audit” will allow fraternities to develop clearer policies surrounding diversity and inclusion.

“We want to make sure that we’re articulating to everyone where we stand on the issue – obviously being the open welcoming environment and community that we are there we strive to be,” he said. “We want to make sure that’s written down, and that that policy is set forth and clear from the very beginning.”

Levinson said that he and the IFC’s vice president for member development, Trey Christopher, will conduct the review and that he hopes the audit will be completed by the end of fall semester. He said the pair will develop a “clear” stance that the IFC welcomes diversity.

Levinson said that once the audit is complete the IFC will redevelop its mission and value statement – which will be available on the group’s website – to clearly reflect the council’s commitment to diversity. He said the council previously mandated that member fraternities attend annual diversity and inclusion educational programming, but hopes the audit will help the council further advance diversity initiatives.

He added that the IFC worked with Jordan West, the director for diversity and inclusion education, and Michael Tapscott, the director of the Multicultural Student Services Center, to ensure that fraternity members participate in diversity programming.

“Over this summer, Michael Tapscott and Dr. Jordan West have helped me personally as the IFC president navigate my vision of where I wanted the IFC to go in terms of this issue,” Levinson said.

He said the council will identify “action items” for bolstering diversity and inclusion efforts in each fraternity once the review is complete. He and Christopher want to discuss the possibility of lowering dues for new members, Levinson said.

He said the IFC will host its first-ever career fair, open to all students, the Thursday before Thanksgiving break in the City View Room of the Elliott School of International Affairs. Levinson said he contacted alumni from his own chapter, Beta Theta Pi, over the summer about representing the companies for which they work at the career fair, and hopes that 10 businesses will attend the event.

“We’re really hoping that all GW students alike can take advantage of this resource,” he said.

He added that the IFC will host an event in the Jack Morton Auditorium in October during which the parents of Timothy Piazza – a former Penn State student who died last year after binge-drinking at a fraternity party – will speak about the dangers of hazing on campus. Levinson said the event’s speakers will raise students’ awareness about the dangers of hazing inside and outside of Greek life.

He added that the IFC will continue hosting risk-management roundtable discussions about every two to three weeks to discuss matters pertinent to fraternity life at GW. The IFC instituted risk management roundtable discussions last February to discuss topics like mental health awareness and sexual assault prevention.

“Often for risk management, I think our biggest fallout in the past has been not communicating, ‘What are the issues that I’m currently facing?’” he said.

William Copeland, the president of Delta Tau Delta, said his fraternity plans to host an event open to the public that will focus on toxic masculinity and homophobia.

Copeland said the fraternity is also working to implement a need-based scholarship with their Alumni Board before next semester’s formal recruitment to “diversify” the chapter.

“Delt and the IFC are working hard to further develop our diversity and inclusion initiatives,” he said in an email.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.