Knox’s soon-to-be sixth official fraternity will not have the traditional Greek letters of its counterparts but will keep the name it has been known by for the last several years: Gentlemen of Quality (GQ).
Rather than nationalizing with Psi Sigma Phi, as the group originally intended, the group has decided to become a permanent local fraternity.
“This is what we want,” senior Yohan Chang, president of GQ, said.
GQ decided to join the national organization Psi Sigma Phi back in May 2010. Established in 1990 as a multicultural fraternity, GQ would have become its fourteenth chapter. However, after further discussion, GQ began to question if such a choice was the best fit for their chapter.
“We didn’t want to sell out our image just to nationalize,” senior GQ member Tequan Wright said.
As a result, GQ members began to talk with their current members and alumni about the possibility of becoming a permanent local fraternity. Although the decision to do so was nearly unanimous and the administration approved of the idea, Knox has not had a local fraternity since the 1960s.
Greek Task Force
To address GQ’s request, Knox established a Greek Task Force to “figure out how to go forth and establish policies for a local fraternity on campus,” Kathleen Drake, Assistant Director of Campus Life, said. As the college’s Greek advisor, Drake also serves as the head of the Task Force.
Although the committee aims to establish permanent guidelines that can be used for any future group wishing to become a local fraternity or sorority, the Task Force’s main emphasis was on helping to ensure that GQ received the support they needed to become established as a local fraternity.
“How are they going to get that support, and almost oversight, without a national organization?” Drake said.
The Task Force, which was officially asked to form at the beginning of winter term and has been meeting for the last month, aimed to answer that question through investigating issues such as insurance liability and tax exemptions—“the things that nationals usually do that we would have to do,” Chang said.
Although the Task Force initially looked to models of Greek systems at colleges like Cornell College in Iowa, which is composed solely of local fraternities, the final structure they will be presenting to Knox ended up being completely original.
“The more I find out, each school has their own system that is their own unique tradition,” Drake said.
The Task Force presented its report to the Student Life Committee this past Tuesday. If approved, the faculty will also have to approve the establishment of GQ as a local fraternity, something Drake hopes they will do at the first faculty meeting of spring term.
Drake was pleased with the results of the Task Force.
“That structure should help them continually grow in the Knox community,” she said.
“In many ways, we feel like trailblazers,” Wright said. “We’re trying to make it easier, not just for ourselves, but for future local fraternities.”
Once it becomes an official local fraternity, GQ will be overseen by the Interfraternity Council, as are the other fraternities on campus. Although they plan to try to get a house, they intend to continue many of the same activities they have done in the past.
“We’ll be the same GQ,” Chang said.