January 12, 2011

SLC returns to Greek discussion

This week’s Student Life Committee (SLC) meeting was largely devoted to revisiting a conversation the committee had last term concerning matters related to Greek life, namely with respect to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Interfraternal Judicial Council (IFJ).

During the Nov. 18, 2010, SLC Greek forum, IFC President senior David Fundakowski supported the reinstitution of IFJ, which has been inactive. He described the judicial council as a mediator between Greek organizations.

“Things that reflect poorly on the entire Greek system or that one person does to reflect poorly on their entire house are the things that we want to get involved in,” Fundakowski said.

Dean of Students Debbie Southern took the floor first during Tuesday’s meeting. She explained that over her 10-year tenure at Knox, the use of IFJ has “ebbed and flowed,” depending on the current IFC’s preferences.

“From my experience, it’s a good idea to have peer groups helping to monitor one another,” Southern said. “That’s a really solid concept.”

Though she mentioned one drawback of using this system in a small liberal arts college: everyone knows everyone else. Even still, she thinks it is good to have students instruct other students about standards.

Much of the ensuing conversation addressed questions as to how IFJ will work with college bylaws. Carlin-Metz speculated about the opposition to IFJ’s reinstitution.

“Are the cases [brought before IFJ] being reported to the institution so that the institution is aware of the preponderance or the scarcity of infractions?” Carlin-Metz said.

Professor of Mathematics Dennis Schneider suggested that there be a “give and take” of information between the Greek community and the Office of Campus Safety. Southern acknowledged that as an ideal situation, but she noted some mistrust between some of the Greek community, the Office of Student Development and the faculty concerning the sharing of information.

“I think, personally, that if there’s an environment where judicial sanctions are being handed down on issues that potentially reflect violation of Knox standards,” Carlin-Metz said, “then the Office of Student Development needs to be aware of that.”

Southern agreed, but she made clear her understanding that the IFJ would have a different intent. Rather, the council would enforce certain standards imposed by IFC, such as having designated monitors at parties wearing brightly colored shirts. These standards are not necessarily recognized by the college.

The rest of the conversation centered upon the designation of the IFC advisor (Greek advisor) position.

The minutes from the last meeting were unanimously approved. No other action was taken during the meeting. Carlin-Metz said the committee may not meet next week.

Charlie Megenity
Charlie Megenity (formerly Gorney) is a senior double majoring in political science and economics. He previously served TKS as managing editor and as co-news editor while working as the weekend reporter for The Galesburg Register-Mail. Over the summer of 2012, Charlie interned in Wisconsin with Patch.com, an online hyperlocal news source, where he covered the August 2012 Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting; he will return to Patch during the summer of 2013. He is also the journalism editor for Catch magazine.. Charlie has received three awards from the Illinois College Press Association for newswriting and design, including a first place award for front page layout. He was the 2013 recipient of the Theodore Hazen Kimble Memorial Award in Journalism for a feature story published in The Knox Student. His work has also appeared in The Huffington Post.

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