Discourse / Greek Life / Letters / March 2, 2011

Letters to the Editor: Corrections for Gentlemen of Quality article

I write in my capacity as chair of the Faculty Standing Committee on Student Life (SLC) to correct multiple points of misinformation contained in the February 17, 2011 article in TKS entitled “ Gentlemen of Quality to Become Local Fraternity,” by co-news editor Katy Sutcliffe.

Permit me to begin with the headline as stated above. This is not a fact. Gentlemen of Quality sought and received permission to remain a local colony while the Student Life Committee explored policy regarding Knox Local Fraternities. Upon institution of such policy, GQ may apply to seek status as a local fraternity.

The article states, “Knox established a task force.” This is inaccurate. The Student Life Committee established a task force chaired by a member of the committee and on which other members serve, in addition to other students, staff and faculty with expertise in the area.

The article describes “the main emphasis” of the task force as being “to ensure that GQ received the support they needed to become a local fraternity.” This is inaccurate. The charge to the task force was to research national protocols and draft a proposal outlining procedures by which a local colony might seek local fraternity or sorority status. That such protocols might serve GQ in their application to become a local fraternity is very likely, but by no means assure that process or define the charge of the task force.

The article identifies GQ as “the soon-to-be sixth official fraternity.” This is inaccurate and premature. GQ has not received permission to become a local fraternity.

The article identifies the SLC task force as “a Greek task force.” This is inaccurate, as it is a task force constituted by SLC to address the singular topic of local fraternities and sororities. “Greek Task Force” has a particular identification at Knox and this task force has no relationship to that former entity.

The article states, “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 aims to present to SLC for its consideration guidelines for the formation of local fraternities or sororities, which, if approved by SLC, will be presented to the faculty for their consideration. The task force itself has no authority in this matter.

The article identifies Kathleen Drake as “the Greek Advisor.” This is inaccurate. There is no single individual in the Office of Student Development with the title “the Greek Advisor.” There are multiple persons with responsibilities in a variety of areas pertaining to Greek life (as well as to all student life), all of who ultimately report to the Dean of Students.

The article states that a local fraternity will be overseen by the Interfraternity Council (IFC). This is an oversimplification that may be misleading. Current discussion indicates that local fraternities and sororities should participate in their appropriate councils, but those organizations would have the same limited oversight over locals as they have over their current members. General oversight will rest with the Office of Student Development, the Student Life Committee, the Faculty and ultimately the President and the trustees, as is the case with all aspects of student life.

Liz Carlin-Metz


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