There are many aspects to being an advisor for the Greek community at Knox. The responsibilities are divided amongst five administrators and members of the Office of Student Development this year in efforts to juggle the immense number of components to the job. These individuals are: Dean of Students Debbie Southern, Assistant Director of Campus Life Kathleen Drake, Assistant Director of Residential Operations Jillian Staley, Associate Dean of Students Heather Poppy and Director of Residential Learning Craig Southern.
Staley and Drake both work together to assist with general issues of fraternity and sorority life, such as planning homecoming and larger events. Staley also focuses on Greek grades and academic performance.
As for specifics of her role, Drake said, “We’re still defining that … I’m making myself known as a great resource.”
Drake comes to Knox from Eastern Illinois University, where she spent two years as the Panhellenic Council Advisor to the sorority system.
Of dividing the role, Drake said, “It’s so that not just one person can make or break it.”
Drake will also be working on bringing back Order of Omega, an honorary Greek organization that emphasizes community work, as well as bringing more national support for Greek volunteering to Knox.
“I’m not sure I know what the expectations are for what I should do as IFC advisor,” Debbie Southern said.
She also said that signing up to be the IFC advisor was more to make an advisor available to Greek students if they needed one. “But I don’t want to step on their toes,” she added.
Last year, former Dean of Students Xavier Romano filled the position of Interfraternity Council (IFC) Advisor, with Coordinator of Instructional Technological Services Vicky Romano as Panhellenic Advisor.
“I’m not Greek,” Southern said, but she has been involved with organizational aspects of Greek systems at other colleges.
“I think organizationally, if you let people do what they do best, everything gets done more efficiently,” Southern said.
Each individual fraternity and sorority on campus has its own faculty advisor regarding academics.
Poppy is the Panhellenic Council Advisor for sororities and Craig Southern focuses on housing specifically related to Greek life.