A few interesting articles and stories from the past week, or so…
Trinity College – The Hartford Courant has a story on a proposal by Trinity College to reform student life by “forcing fraternities and sororities to go coed.” The article focuses on this one aspect of a series of recommendations made to address campus culture at Trinity. You can click on this link to read the full “Charter Committee” report.
In reading that report, the bigger changes involve the implementation of a “Hogwarts” style residential college system, with students sorted into six houses as freshmen and staying in that community through graduation. It was interesting to see that the committee mentioned personal experiences in smaller cohort programs to justify that recommendation, without recognizing the smaller communities created by fraternities and sororities. The committee also did a good job of defining the problems created by alcohol, and how the campus culture has changed as risk management and liability concerns have evolved. However, I could not find anything in the recommendations that would help to address the reality that 18 to 20 year old college students will gravitate to environments where they can drink. Unless they address that issue, Trinity will never find a satisfactory solution. Forced co-ed, and open, clubs will not meet the needs of those students.
Cornell – The Cornell Daily Sun has an article on the IFC’s reaction to recent interim suspensions of three fraternities, and the increase in reported concerns. The article implies that the IFC leaders were surprised by these actions and reports.
However, anyone following Cornell over the past few years would have expected this action. The President of the university, and the staff working with fraternities and sororities have been very clear in sharing their expectations, and the potential consequences of violating policies for some time. They are simply doing what they said they would do, and I applaud them for these actions. The IFC, and the chapters, need to recognize a new reality and get on board.
Dayton – (whiotv.com) The University of Dayton has placed their Sigma Chi chapter on interim probation following an incident at a gas station/convenience store on Nov. 17th. The report indicates that two bus loads of students stopped at the gas station as they were returning from a chapter event in Columbus. From the article – “According to an incident report prepared by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, 80 students on two yellow school buses were interviewed by deputies Saturday evening after they were seen by witnesses and deputies running through the service station, urinating on the floor, breaking items and standing on parked cars. All the students were reportedly intoxicated.”
Tennessee/Pi Kappa Alpha – The Memphis Commercial Appeal has a report outlining the criminal cases from the night of the “butt-chugging” incident at the Pike chapter at Tennessee. Most of these cases are for underage drinking, and are being resolved with fines and education.