February 16, 2011

SLC talks locals

The Student Life Committee (SLC) took a major step on Tuesday towards allowing local fraternities to exist at Knox, but major institutional policy questions remain.

Associate Director of Campus Life and Greek Task Force Chair Kathleen Drake presented to SLC on Tuesday the task force’s initial policy draft. The policy as presented to the committee stipulates that after a local colony seeks to nationalize with a Greek organization but decides not to do so, it may start a local chapter of a new fraternity or sorority.

This process, as proposed, would be three-fold. First, the faculty must allow the organization to seek to become a local chapter.

The organization must file a series of documents, including proof of insurance, proof of membership with a governing council (i.e., the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) or Panhellenic Council (PanHel)), proof of a faculty advisor, a copy of the constitution and by-laws and an “Agency Account” financial account with the college. It must also be endorsed by Student Senate and SLC.

After all this has been done, the Dean of Students will officially recognize the organization’s local chapter status.

Much of the ensuing conversation addressed the issue of who gets oversight of the local chapter and how much oversight they will get. The “who” could include the Dean of Students, the chapter’s advisor and IFC or Panhel.

The general consensus among the committee was that compared to those other institutions, Knox’s Greek system is unique in the extent to which it is connected to the institution. As IFC president-elect junior Sam Frank noted, some schools have Greek systems which are completely unregulated.

Some committee members also made note that the rigor of the process which an organization must complete to become a local chapter seems to favor nationalization over localization. Task force members said that this is partly by design.

“Too many organizations…can diffuse the actual culture,” Professor of Theatre and SLC chair Elizabeth Carlin-Metz said. “The rigor of the process assures that too many won’t form and that those that do form will be ‘Knox.’”

There was some mention Tuesday of the Senate’s Special Meeting on the Use of the Restricted Fund and its second survey of the student body, which is still open. Senate President and senior Sam Claypool talked about the editorial she wrote for The Knox Student, adding that Senate wants “to give students the opportunity to see the potential costs of [the nine proposed projects]…and decide for themselves.”

There was also a short discussion concerning student representation on faculty committees. Due to a considerably downsized Student Senate, this year Senate started the practice of opening positions on faculty committees to the student body at large.

It was ultimately proposed that, during orientation week, a kind of “carnival of committees” could be held to gauge general student interest in sitting on these committees.

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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