By Greek Life Task Force
We are the Greek Life Task Force, a group of leaders within the Greek community that have been meeting since last year. We are writing this article to address some misconceptions that persist concerning the changes to Greek life this year. We feel that as the mother of fraternities, Union should take the lead in defining Greek life for the 21st century. Union is already a premier example of Greek life in the northeast. No one within the Greek community should feel as though the changes made were an attempt to criticize or punish them. The changed party structure had nothing to do with Union appearing on any party school lists or to single out First-Years. It is to get ourselves in better compliance with our insurance policies and to give us time to focus on recruiting new members.
Our first task was to bring our social life into line with our national insurance policy requirements.
This meant that all houses needed to manage parties using a list based system. The following quote is lifted directly from the national standard operating procedures for open Greek life social functions: “Nonmembers attending a chapter function may do so only by invitation of a chapter member. A list of individual guests with the names of the host must be maintained, and all persons desiring admission to the function must be monitored at the door for entry.” Being out of line with our national insurance policies places each house and chapter officer liable for anything that goes wrong. No student should have to deal with a lawsuit during their time at college.
The Deans approached us and asked that Greek organizations take the lead in helping new students adjust to college life. Greek life plays a central role in the social life here at Union. As such, we have a duty to make sure that the social life is as safe as possible. Greek members gave formal and informal presentations to First-Years during orientation this year on adjusting to Union’s social life.
During the first two weeks, the Greeks were occupied with recruitment, a dry activity, so it made sense not to offer parties during the first two weekends. Keeping First-Years out of parties for the first five weeks is aimed at giving them a chance to adjust to college life and get to know each other before heading out to Greek events.
After the five weeks, they are welcome to attend. The list parties encourage the First-Years to first meet upperclassmen at extracurriculars and other campus activities if they would like to attend Greek social events. We hope that the list parties, besides being better in line with our insurance policies, improve students’ safety and the party atmosphere.
It seems as though the greatest issue raised during these first few weeks is the freshmen venturing off campus in significant numbers, which many people see as unsafe. This is a serious issue that is being addressed as we move forward.
This is the first year we have tried these changes, and there will be adjustments made ahead. If your concern is a lack of attractive on-campus activities on the weekends, get involved and make changes. Greek life, Minervas, and the Student Activities office all host weekend events and are incredibly open to student input.
Please contact us if you have any input on the Greek social events. Our goal is to improve Greek life and its role at Union. We have a lot to offer the community, and well-run, responsible parties are only part of the picture. We encourage you to get involved, and find out more about what we’re all about.
All Greek members are open to attend Inter-Fraternity Council meetings Tuesday nights at 7 p.m., Reamer 308. All Greeks and Non-Greeks, feel free to contact any of us below.
The Greek Life Task Force
Dylan Boigris, Student
Oliver DeClue, Student
Alyssa Feldman, Student
Michelle Garyn, Student
Amanda Librot, Student
Jennifer Silvershein, Student
Benjamin Weiner, Student
Chris Hayen, Director of
Steve Leavitt, Dean of Students
Sunni Solomon, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Amanda Tommell-Sandy, Health Educator