Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dilemmas

Question: What should we do about the IFC President and VP of Risk Management, whose chapter is under investigation for hazing?

Question: What should the Greek community do: stand united behind a constituent member, or make that chapter an example?

Question: Is hazing only a fraternity issue, or is this shared with sororities?

Question: Will this incident actually stop hazing?

Proposition: While hazing, alcohol abuse, and sexual assault only happens at other chapters (and not our own), we are quick to state that the entire Greek community engages in a high level of community service and maintains excellent standards of scholarship... including even those chapters that only fulfill the requirement of one event per semester.

We cry when people make assumptions about the Greek community when one chapter messes up: it's not fair, it's not fair, we say. However, we want to make sure that honors and recognition bestowed on one chapter are construed as a reflection of the Greek community in general.

This isn't fair to those chapters (and individuals) who are pulling their own weight.

Bios on Candidates Vying for Greek Positions at Berkeley

Here are the details from a recent e-mail from OSL:
Please join us for lunch from 12-1pm on each of the days that these candidates
are on campus. Meeting students will be the cornerstone of their experiences
and I hope we can all show them what a great place this is to work!


Monday April 18th
Forum Location: 36 Sproul
Candidate: Rebecca Jamrozik
Rebecca has worked at the University of South Florida (USF) for the past two years as a Greek Life Advisor. Rebecca serves as the advisor to Panhellenic and Order of Omega and has advised events such as Greek Week and Dance Marathon. She has worked to provide educational programming around leadership development and risk management for all councils and has assisted with Greek expansion at USF. In addition to being a Greek Advisor She concurrently serves as the House Director for an on-campus Kappa Delta chapter house. Prior to her time at USF she served as a full-time professional Student Life Coordinator at Florida Southern College where she advised to Panhellenic. Previous to her time at USF she spent a year as traveling consultant for Alpha Chi Omega.

Tuesday April 19th
Forum Location: 333 Sproul
Candidate: Melissa Lang
Melissa has worked at the University of Arkansas for the past two years as a Greek Life advisor where she has advised Panhellenic and co-advised NPHC. She has coordinated the expansion process for Panhellenic, advised to the Greek programming board and Up 'Til Dawn and facilitated multiple leadership programs such as Greek 101 and a new member retreat. Melissa initiated new programs such as the first annual Greek Week and Hot Pink Ribbon, an organization where sorority women educate other sorority women about violence against women. She completed her internships with Judicial Affairs at the University of Arkansas and in Orientations at George Mason University. Prior to attending graduate school she worked as a traveling consultant for Alpha Omicron Pi.

Thursday April 21st
Forum Location: 333 Sproul
Candidate: Sonja Jensen
Sonja currently serves as the Advisor to Panhellenic and 14 sororities at Iowa State University. The scope of her position includes providing leadership and direction in the areas of Risk Management, Judicial, Recruitment, New Member Education and Scholarship. She has advised on program such as Greek Getaway, Greek Week, Junior Greek Council and Dance Marathon. Additionally, Sonja has facilitated at the National Interfraternity Conference Alcohol Summit and coordinated and facilitated a training weekend for all Greek Executive Council Officers and Chapter Presidents.

Monday April 25th
Forum Location: 333 Sproul
Candidate: Emery Burk
Emery currently serves as the Graduate Coordinator for Greek Life at Eastern Michigan University. He advises presidents for all fraternities and sororities and serves as advisor to Panhellenic and NPHC. In this role he has coordinated leadership retreats and helped institute formal recruitment for Panhellenic sororities. Emery has presented on Black Greek Basics and at UIFI, and coordinated the EMU Alcohol Summit and facilitated at IMPACT. During his internship with the Student LIfe Office at Angelo State University he worked to assess campus climate and create programming to increase overall retention and recruitment of African American Students.


Monday April 26th
Forum Location: TBA
Candidate: Chrysalis Buller
Chrysalis currently serves as an Advisor to IFC at Bowling Green University and is a live-in staff member with Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and a member of Delta Gamma. She is also the Graduate Staff member in charge of Greek Expansion at Bowling Green. She has focused her "Directed Reading" studies on NPHC Fraternities and Sororities and has coordinated programs such as a President's Retreat and Diversity trainings. In other positions during her time in graduate school she has worked with the administration of on-campus chapter houses and residence halls.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

More Bloggers?

I've got Andy Ratto aboard who is sure to bring the same quality of work from both CalStuff and the Daily Cal. Is there anyone else who would want to sound off on the Greek community?

Remember: the purpose of this blog is not to unilaterally criticize the Greeks because, hell, we've got a lot to offer. But, there is a lot of hypocrisy in this system, and hypocrisy screams to be pointed out.

Any sorority gals who want to join in the fun? Let me know.

Help Pick the New Greek Advisor

Hey, it's Andy from over at CalStuff... "Frat" Boy lent me the keys to this place a while ago, and I'm finally getting around to take it out for a test drive. Time permitting, expect me to spend some time over here discussing some of the big news currently occurring within the Greek System here at Berkeley (and some suggestions about how to bring about some positive change).

The first news I wanted to pass on, as a follow up to the post below, is that the horrendously delayed process of bringing in some new advisors is finally drawing to a close. Someone from OSL was at the President's Council meeting tonight, and she said they are currently reviewing four applicants for the top position. She will be sending out brief bios on those candidates, and I will pass those on to you when they are available.

More importantly, OSL either highly values student input when making this selection, or is pretending to in order to humor us students (I have no idea which it is). To that end, there will be four interview sessions with the prospective candidates, that OSL is strongly encouraging students to attend. Here are the details on those meetings:

  • Monday, April 18th, 12-1pm 36 Sproul Hall
  • Tuesday, April 19th 12-1pm 333 Sproul Hall
  • Thursday, April 21st 12-1pm 333 Sproul Hall
  • Monday, April 25th 12-1pm 333 Sproul Hall
Crucially, there will be food at these sessions, and although that hasn't been finalized, I definitely heard something about cheese, which bodes well. Cheeseboard... cheesy sticks... it's all good!

Where Are the Greek Advisors?

In case you haven't been aware, the University has been looking for new Greek Advisors to replace Rob Maneson and Tiffany Jones, whom I feel were vastly unappreciated and probably overworked due to the thankless nature of being a Greek Advisor.

Actually, they are only hiring one Greek Advisor; they are additionally creating the position of Assistant Director of Greek Life. So, the hierarchy is: IFC/Panhellenic, Greek Advisor, Assistant Director of Greek Life, Director of Greek Life, Director of Student Life, and then the Dean of Students.

I'm not very optimistic about this whole process. It will take someone of a very high caliber and great fortitude to deal with the shit dealt by both the University and the Greek community. Let's face it... we want someone who will help us drink and party, and then defend us when things go awry. Unfortunately, the Greek Advisor / Asst. Director of Greek Life are paid and employed by the University, and the University's number one priority is to reduce risk and therefore liability.

The argument has long been made against the existence of IFC; many people ask why the IFC is necessary and why they have to pay dues to support an organization that doesn't directly benefit them. This is a subject that deserves its own post, but in a nutshell being a part of the IFC, in addition to being required by most national headquarters, reduces risk for chapters in that serving alcohol to minors is not a criminal offence but something to be taken care of by the Judicial Committee and/or Student Judicial Affairs. The relationship I am drawing here is that the Office of Student Life (and in particular the Greek Life contingent) serves roughly the same purpose as IFC (as buffers), and are both probably just as held in less-than-high regard by their constituencies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

GQSA? Oscar Wilde?

Where did the Greek Queer-Straight Alliance go? After selling plain and rainbow sprinkle-covered brownies at "Tastes of Berkeley" last semester, it seems that this organization--that had high hopes for the Greek community--has gone defunct.

Perhaps because its leader, Andy Ratto, has been busy with CalStuff and running a humor-filled campaign for executive office. This is not to attack Andy, but to ask him why the GQSA is no longer in existence, and if he has any plans for it in the future.

I was just forwarded an e-mail from the IFC philanthropy chair, Joon Song, about a dinner/meeting at the Oscar Wilde House, which is geared towards eventually building a relationship with the first LGBT-themed house in America:

"As leaders of the Greek community, we have the unique opportunity to build a lasting working relationship with the Oscar Wilde House, and through it, gain a deeper understanding of the LGBT community. Even in Berkeley and in this day and age, hate crimes, discrimination, and acts of violence are perpetuated against members of that community, and we have the responsibility to ensure a safe place for everyone. Furthermore, this gives us the opportunity to show the world that Greeks are tolerant, active, and socially aware. Your input and support would be greatly welcomed at this event."

While Joon's efforts are well-intentioned, do they have any chance of succeeding? Is gaining a deeper understanding of LGBT issues really high up there on "to do list" of frat boys?