February 23, 2011

SLC revises policy draft

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Student Life Committee (SLC) made another step toward allowing local Greek organizations to exist on the Knox campus.

The committee, which discussed an initial policy draft presented last week, considered certain concerns with the draft and made a few changes. The finalized policy is expected to go before the faculty during its March meeting before spring break.

One major contention with the policy expressed by Professor of Mathematics Dennis Schneider at last week’s meeting is that the Office of Student Development (OSD) makes the final decision to institute the local chapter after the colony has fulfilled certain requirements. Schneider said the faculty should have the final say.

Other members contend that the final visit to a faculty meeting would constitute the fourth time throughout the process that the group would need approval from the faculty at their monthly meetings, calling it an unnecessary step.

“Should they, at that stage, be approved as a local fraternity, or do they yet again have to go to the faculty for yet another approval?” Professor of Theatre Elizabeth Carlin-Metz asked.

Junior Sam Frank pointed out that SLC, a faculty standing committee, has oversight over OSD, so the faculty is still connected to that final decision.

Ultimately, the committee decided that the final step could include the Dean of Students making a recommendation to SLC, which would then have the final say.

Assistant Director of Campus Life Kathleen Drake presented one addition on behalf of Dean of Students Debbie Southern, who asked to include in the policy a note that OSD does not have any obligation to provide housing specifically for a local chapter.

Ensuing discussion pointed to the fact that local chapters would need to go about procuring a house in the same manner as any other Greek organization.

There was also some talk of the specifics in the “implementation document,” or the part of the policy which would end up in OSD, pending approval by the faculty. SLC’s major contention with this document was how it will designate financial oversight of a local chapter.

The committee also addressed a Feb. 17 article in The Knox Student headlined “Gentlemen of Quality to become local fraternity.” Carlin-Metz described the article as “erroneous,” citing about six examples of what she called misinformation.

Among Carlin-Metz’s corrections are that it is not yet certain that Gentlemen of Quality (GQ) will become a local fraternity and that Drake is not the “Greek advisor.” (Rather, that role is spread across the entire OSD.) She also disagreed with the article’s implication that SLC’s task force was designed to help GQ become a local chapter.

In addition, Senate Communications Officer and senior Chris Bugajski updated SLC on the Special Meeting on the Use of the Restricted Fund (SMURF). This committee recently closed its second survey of the student body on how to use $100,000 worth of rolled over activity fee.

The survey, which Bugajski said garnered 532 votes, was meant to gauge student preference for each item on the final list of proposed ideas on which the money could be spent.

As an endnote, Frank announced that the Interfraternity Council will soon move to apply minimum academic standards to all fraternities.

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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