It’s time for fraternities to take on more responsibility and independence in their judicial process. And the University should approve draft proposals to make that change happen.
A draft of recommendations was written by Interfraternity Council members, Greek alumni and other University community members.
The draft is aimed at holding the fraternity system to higher standards and fixing problems that have necessitated University intervention in the past.
This draft concludes that the current Greek Judicial Board process and houses’ individual judicial processes are flawed.
According to the draft, houses do not have adequate systems in place to address discipline issues. Instead, most issues have to be handled by the house president or alumni adviser.
Concerning the Greek Judicial Board, the draft concludes that the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has too much influence over what cases are brought to the board and what penalties are imposed.
As solutions to both these issues, the draft suggests that each house must create its own judicial board to deal with discipline issues in the house.
The draft further suggests that the Greek Judicial Board be reworked and modeled off of the Honor Court, using a system like the student attorney general’s office to resolve discipline issues.
These proposed changes are a step in the right direction. The University should see this draft as the fraternity system taking responsibility for its actions and attempting to raise its standards of behavior.
It is crucial that the Greek judicial process be independent from the University for that to happen.
Tucker Piner, president of the IFC, said that University influence in the judicial process takes away the process’s integrity.
He also said that the University has had to get involved in the past because the fraternity community has made mistakes and failed to hold itself to high standards.
Piner is right.
The Greek system has been having some issues. And it makes sense that the University has seen a need to move in.
But the fraternities should be more responsible for fixing their own problems and enforcing their own standards. Not the University.
College students are adults, and self-governance is a long- standing tradition at the University.
Students have an independent student government and an Honor Code that is enforced by other students.
These draft recommendations are aimed at shifting the responsibility for fraternity behavior to the fraternities and away from the University.
They’re aimed at prodding fraternity members to take pride in holding themselves to high standards.
For that to happen, fraternity members need to trust that their peers are the ones holding them to higher standards.
The University will still have a role in disciplining fraternities through the Fraternity and Sorority Standards Review Board.
The board is composed of administrators, council presidents, Greek alumni and a faculty member. They can always remove a fraternity’s official University recognition.
And just because the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life doesn’t play as much of a role in the judicial process doesn’t mean their role will disappear entirely.
The office should still have an advisory role with the Greek system. That role just shouldn’t involve a heavy hand in the judicial process.
There is still a question of whether the fraternity community is capable of holding itself to higher standards. There have been problems in the past that have not resulted in needed reform.
But this time, the fraternities are coming to the University not only suggesting they be given more independence, but also suggesting that rules be tightened so they can be enforced.
For example, the draft of recommendations calls for the IFC’s alcohol policy to be amended so that it’s more enforceable by a revamped judicial board.
And Piner said that the IFC is already moving toward a dry rush and shortening the length of rush so it doesn’t interfere with class.
These changes show that the IFC fraternities are serious about reforming their system.
The fraternities are reaching out to the University, and the University should respond by granting them more independence and permitting the proposed changes.