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The Greek Proposal

The Greek system has been a defining aspect of Dartmouth campus life for over 150 years. In their history, Greek houses have provided a supportive social community for a diverse collection of Dartmouth students, including scholars, artists, athletes, and activists. The wide range of Greek organizations at Dartmouth provides students with a myriad of welcoming communities. For many Dartmouth students, Greek houses provide continuity, lasting friendships, and a support base at Dartmouth and beyond. The system has fostered a vibrant social life on a relatively secluded campus and has supported the community at large through philanthropic initiatives and service programs. We believe that the Dartmouth Greek system stands as a unique and open social outlet committed to continually improving the lives of Dartmouth students.

Greek organizations at Dartmouth have produced leaders who not only value the deep roots of their individual chapters but also critically examine the way their organizations stand within the larger social community. Greek houses are not static institutions and recognize the need to continually revisit and reexamine chapter and council bylaws, thus implementing changes to better serve the Greek Letter Organization (GLO) members and the entire Dartmouth student body. In the past two years, we have made strides to create a safer, more inclusive system. Last year, the Greek community enacted a policy to protect freshmen in their first term on campus by giving them a chance to adjust and find supportive networks before entering Greek houses. This year, the Greek community eliminated the “pledge” period from all Greek organizations, ensuring that new members have all the rights and responsibilities of all members as soon as they join a Greek organization.

We, the leaders of the Gender-Inclusive, Interfraternity, and Panhellenic Councils, remain dedicated to the continued improvement of the Greek system at Dartmouth and would like to highlight our goals as well as discuss policies and ideas in the following areas:

  1. High-Risk Drinking
  2. Sexual Misconduct
  3. Protecting First-Year Students
  4. Updating Our Physical Plants
  5. Faculty Advisors
  6. Inclusivity

We urge the administration to take seriously the proposed recommendations outlined in this document. As the student leaders of these Greek organizations, we strongly believe that we have the insight and ability to enact changes that will effect positive change in the Dartmouth community.

High-Risk Drinking

  1. High-risk drinking (i.e. binge drinking) has been nationally recognized as a serious, often life threatening problem on college campuses. However, a campus-wide ban on hard alcohol will harm our community. Such a ban will merely drive the substance and extreme behaviors underground where it cannot be supervised by student leaders or trained professionals thereby increasing the risk of hospitalizations. We do recognize that hard alcohol is potentially dangerous and should be handled with care. Therefore, the following recommendations must be adopted in coordination with an increase in College-sponsored venues, such as at One Wheelock or Bar Hop, where hard alcohol could be provided and consumed responsibly. These recommendations are based on both empirical research and our ground-level experiences as participants and risk-managers in the Dartmouth-specific social environment. We propose the following changes to our hard alcohol policies. If the College institutes these protocols, and we find by the end of Spring Term 2015 that they do not adequately address the issues of hard alcohol consumption and abuse in Greek spaces, the Greek student leadership will revisit the idea of a complete ban on hard alcohol in all Greek houses.
    • Greek Letter Organizations will not serve hard alcohol at “tails” events unless a third-party bartender is present and serving drinks. In order to properly align their priorities and to assure appropriate actions and oversight, we ask that the college assist with the compensation of these bartenders.
    • Any member caught serving hard alcohol to a minor in a Greek facility will immediately be placed on a two-week social suspension for a first offense, and will be removed from the Greek system for a second offense.
    • Upon speaking with SAAP coordinators, the Title IX coordinator, and many students, we believe that the most important role that Greek organizations can play in preventing binge drinking of hard alcohol on campus is to prevent underage first-year students from receiving hard alcohol. We recognize that firstyears typically receive or purchase hard alcohol from upperclassmen teammates, trip-leaders, and friends. With this in mind, we recommend the College attempt a “tagging” system on bottles of hard alcohol. Working in conjunction with the state of New Hampshire Liquor store, the College could track who buys hard alcohol.
    • We ask the College to consider any Gender-Inclusive Greek Letter Organization that has not been found responsible for an alcohol violation by the College in more than three years exempt from point 1.1. Upon speaking with Safety and Security and Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP) officials, we believe that Gender-Inclusive Greek Letter Organizations have a strong record of responsibly serving hard alcohol at registered events and should be allowed to continue in this safe practice. We also see this exemption as a way to incentivize membership in, and increase the social presence of, Gender-Inclusive Greek houses.
  2. We believe that kegs of beer offer a safer, slower source of alcohol than canned or bottled beer; as such, we urge the College to consider incentivizing the use of kegs over cans and bottles with the following policy. If a house chooses to serve beer in kegs, a maximum of five kegs will be present, and only two will be tapped at any given time. Kegs will be in plain view at all times. Kegged beer will never be served at the same time as canned or bottled beer. If canned or bottled beer is served, it will be subject to current SEMP rules. In order to incentivize the transition to kegged beer, we ask that the College remove restrictions on tagging kegs. This limits the source of alcohol to one easily monitored and controlled location, while simultaneously cutting down on waste.
  3. We recommend that all forms of alcohol stop being served at 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on weekends if there are any Dartmouth student non-members present in the house.
  4. We recommend that at all Tier III events (events with more than 150 attendees), an adult, third-party bouncer should be present at the door to help monitor students entering the event. In order to properly align their priorities and to assure appropriate actions and oversight, we ask that the college assist with the compensation of these bouncers.
  5. We recommend that at all Greek Letter Organization houses’ meetings only beer, cider, or wine be served.
  6. We recommend that all Greek Letter Organizations on campus throw at least one “dry” party per term.

With these policies, we aim to mitigate the high-risk drinking that occurs in our spaces. However, we also recognize that much of the high-risk binge drinking on campus occurs in dormrooms, a practice known as “pre-gaming.” We neither condone nor facilitate this practice through our organizations; therefore, to address it with Greek policy is impossible. However, we believe that returning to a practice of making kegged beer more readily available at parties will lessen the amount of “pre-gaming” on campus. We are more than willing to collaborate with the administration and other relevant bodies to develop additional strategies in which we, as the largest social system on campus, can contribute to safe, responsible alcohol consumption in dorm rooms.

Moreover, we support greater diversity in social options, both dry and those serving alcohol, than are currently available to students. We encourage the acquisition of additional facilities for sororities and social spaces controlled by women, as well as social spaces run by the College.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct has no place in the Greek system. Every Dartmouth student, regardless of affiliation, gender identification, or sexual orientation, deserves the fundamental right to feel safe at Dartmouth. We are dedicated to promoting and upholding the safety our members and guests at all times. We propose the following policy recommendations to make our spaces more conducive to safe social behavior.

  1. We employ a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault. Any member found guilty of such behavior will be removed from their respective organization and barred from re-joining the Greek system. The sexual misconduct policy approved February 12th, 2013, already removes a member from his or her chapter if the sanction from Committee on Standards (COS) determines suspension from the College for two or more terms. We recommend lowering this threshold to one term. If a GLO member is placed on suspension for sexual misconduct, he or she will also be expelled from his or her Greek organization, effective immediately. We recommend that all GLOs add this clause to their constitutions in order to demonstrate their commitment to preventing sexual assault. There will be no tolerance of sexual misconduct by our members.
  2. We plan to organize a summit during Winter Term 2015, bringing together Undergraduate Advisors (UGAs), Greek Presidents and Risk Managers, Sexual Assault Awareness Program (SAAP), Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPAs), members of the Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault (SPCSA), and other campus leaders to share best practices in terms of bystander intervention strategies. The summit, led by all five sub-councils of GLC, will result in a published list of guidelines to be distributed to all members of Greek houses, as well as further policy recommendations to be implemented by the Greek system.
  3. We recommend that all GLOs place the telephone numbers of their individual president, vice president(s), risk manager(s), Safety and Security, WISE, and any house SAPAs, DAPAs (Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors), and/or MAVs (Movement Against Violence) on a clearly marked sheet in every bathroom and stairwell of the physical houses. If a chapter is found without a sign, it will have 24 hours to put one up. The first failure to comply with this policy will result in a warning, and the second failure will result in a $100 fine from the applicable sub-council.
  4. We recommend that GLOs partner with WISE to create a lasting partnership in sexual assault and misconduct prevention and support for survivors. In this partnership, all Greek houses must meet with a WISE coordinator to spread awareness not only about WISE and its services, but also about how to be an informed bystander and support network to survivors of sexual violence. In addition, we recommend that each Greek house coordinate with WISE to host a mandatory training for members about sexual assault prevention, contingent on available resources from WISE.
  5. We recommend instituting a student party-monitoring policy that requires Greek houses to have easily identifiable, sober representatives at all events with more than 50 guests. See description below for more detail:

Sober Monitor Policy

We recognize the imperative need to make our spaces as safe as possible. As such, we are committed to increasing the visibility and training requirements for our sober monitors to address deficiencies in current practices of organizations both inside and outside of Greek houses. At Tier II events there must be at least one visible sober monitor from each house sponsoring the event. At Tier III events, there must be at least two visible sober monitors from each house sponsoring the event. This policy would be added into the SEMP regulations. Failure to comply with such policy risks standard SEMP judicial action such as house fines or social probation.

One of the major problems with the sober monitor policy as it stands now is visibility. Many people, especially non-brothers or non-sisters, do not know whom to turn to in case of an emergency when in a Greek house. In order to address this deficiency, the Greek councils will purchase shirts (or equivalent wear) for each house to distribute to its sober monitors to allow for easy and clear identification by members and guests alike. Any individual who is on duty as a sober monitor is required to wear this shirt at all times.

Sober monitors will be required to participate in training programs to provide the necessary tools to handle any issue that may arise during a Greek-hosted event. Members must complete DBI and TEAM training before being eligible to serve as sober monitors. Following these trainings, the sober monitors will be knowledgeable, able, and willing to intervene and mitigate risky and unsafe behavior.

The proposed policy additionally requires that at cosponsored events, each house must provide a sober monitor. With this tenet, we strive to ensure that everyone within a house will be comfortable approaching a sober monitor. We are thrilled that this plan has shown marked success where implemented by certain houses. Thus, having multiple highly visible and well-trained sober monitors at parties will greatly benefit social events in Greek spaces.

We also believe a revamping and reimplementation of Green Team is necessary to work in conjunction with the Greek-sponsored sober monitor policy. Having both affiliated and third-party sober monitors will continue to push our social system in a safer and more responsible direction.

Though many of our organizations contain a number of SAPAs, MAV facilitators, and other student activists, we recognize that we are by no means experts on the issue of sexual assault. We will continue to work with the administration, experts, the Health Promotions and Wellness Office, and student leaders to further address this problem. Only through constructive and collaborative work can we continue to make our spaces as safe and inviting as possible.

Protecting First-Year Students

Apart from being student organizations, we are hosts of social gatherings and are deeply responsible for the safety and well being of our members and our guests. This especially applies to first-year students, a population responsible for a significant proportion of the “Good Sams” and hospitalizations at Dartmouth. As a Greek community we reaffirm our commitment and obligation to protect the most vulnerable populations at Dartmouth when they enter our spaces. To create inclusive and safe social spaces, we propose several initiatives that will make a substantial difference in socializing responsibly.

  1. In order to better communicate with first-year students, we would like to coordinate with first-year UGAs to speak at floor meetings about our organizations and spaces. The goal of these meetings would be to make first-years feel more comfortable entering our spaces and asking for help should they need it. The Greek Letter Organizations and Societies (GLOS) office will approve of the curriculum beforehand.
  2. We would also like to give the first-year UGAs the phone numbers of all GLO presidents and risk-managers. Thus, if a first-year reaches out to his or her UGA for help in a potentially risky situation at a Greek house, this UGA can contact the leadership of this house so that the first-years in question can receive more immediate assistance.
  3. During Tier III events, we propose that first-year students receive a specific hand stamp identifying them. This way, sober monitors can specifically watch out for them at key locations such as at the door, in the stairwells, and on the dance-floor. This added scrutiny enables our risk-management teams to identify problems concerning first-years and efficiently provide immediate assistance.

Updating Our Physical Plants

We hope to partner with the College to revamp basement spaces, creating a cleaner and safer social environment. Revamping GLO basements to include additional seating and tables in segments of the basements may allow for more diverse social interactions and slower rates of drinking. We look forward to working with the College to redesign parts of GLO basements to move away from an “all-pong” environment by reducing the number of pong tables in each basement.

Faculty and Staff Advisors

In order to bridge the gap between the Dartmouth faculty and the Greek system, we recommend that every GLO should have a male and female faculty advisor. The advisors should be faculty and staff members who are passionate about engaging in learning opportunities with students outside the classroom and will serve to both help students with their academic needs and voice the concerns of the alumni and faculty to each individual house. We respectfully request that the College provide support and advice in the search for two faculty advisors for each Greek house.
Suggested responsibilities of the faculty advisors include:

  1. Open office hours for members of their own chapter in order to provide academic help, major/minor advising, or assistance with the D-Plan, among other services. The advisors can provide one-on-one assistance to students and help connect them to the appropriate resources if necessary.
  2. We ask that the advisors attend academic events of their own chapter. Events bringing professors to the chapter, presentations of academic endeavors by members, or academic forums at the chapter will present many opportunities for advisors to better understand the academic climate of the chapter and work to improve this aspect of Greek life.
  3. The advisors should communicate with the new member educators and academic chair of the chapter to promote academic excellence. The advisors should review the academic performance of the chapter and communicate any concerns they might have to the academic chair.
  4. At least once per term, the advisors should speak to the chapter as a whole in order to communicate ideas and/or concerns about non-academic issues involving the chapter.
  5. We ask that all Greek houses, with aid from the College, determine their faculty and/or staff advisors by the end of the academic year.

Inclusivity

We reaffirm our commitment to making our organizations and spaces inclusive to the Dartmouth community. Already, the Greek system has taken steps to ensure that all who interact with our organizations, whether as a member or a guest, are comfortable. We have made it clear to our members that we hold them to the highest standards. We as a community have our own Greek-specific reporting mechanisms in place that anyone can use to report a bias incident or hazing incident pertaining to a Greek organization or space. These channels of communication were created to ensure that our members and member organizations are held accountable for their actions.

In keeping with the values of the Greek system, we recommend that all GLO members attend at least one OPAL Inclusivity and Outreach training as part of mandatory new member education.

In addition, we recommend that each GLO co-host a termly discussion with a non-Greek student group such as Inter-Group Dialogue to further educate members on issues of community (e.g. race, gender, class, sexual orientation). Through this platform we hope to promote cultural sensitivity and a welcoming environment for all students on campus.

We also strongly believe in making Greek houses as financially accessible as possible to all members.

Panhellenic Council Financial Aid:

The Panhellenic Council has already taken multiple steps towards total financial inclusivity. We believe that financial limitations should never be a barrier to entering or remaining in our organizations. Because of this, the Panhellenic Council has more than quadrupled the amount of financial aid available for any woman in our member houses. We have also eliminated the practice of “Working for Dues,” as we believe this places an unfair burden on those who face financial constraints. This term alone, the Panhellenic Council, individual member sororities, and the Dean of the College collectively contributed over $24,000 in financial aid to members of all eight chapters, fulfilling approximately 80% of members’ demonstrated financial need. In working toward achieving our goal of making our system 100% financially accessible, we are collaborating with Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer to establish a more substantial and sustainable scholarship fund.

Interfraternity Council Financial Aid:

IFC member fraternities currently distribute more than $30,000 in financial aid per term to mitigate financial difficulty associated with membership. We offer membership on a completely need-blind basis, and we strive to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. Our goal for the next year is to standardize the financial aid process in an equitable manner.

After an analysis of all fraternity dues and the associated financial aid systems, we have proposed that every fraternity devote a minimum of 15% of their total social and programming budget to financial aid. We will eliminate working off dues and move to a system of monetary grants from the IFC and from individual chapters. In order to continue to incentivize taking care of physical plants, chapters will be permitted to pay members for work on house improvement projects, separate from the dues collection process. To ensure adequate adherence to these policies, the faculty advisors of each house will be present during the allocation deliberations.

Additionally, the IFC as a subcommittee will cease accepting funds from the Student Activities fee to eliminate any potential claim of funding manipulation, and will initiate a program providing 70 grants of $100 per year. More information on the application process for these grants will be available in the coming months.

Gender-Inclusive Greek Council Dues Reduction Policy:

All member organizations of the Gender-Inclusive Greek Council waive any dollar amount of dues upon any member’s request, up to and including 100% of dues. There is no “Working for Dues.” All requests are granted; members requesting a reduction are not required to state a reason or demonstrate financial need. All requests are kept entirely confidential between the requesting member and relevant house officers.

Conclusion

The Greek system has facilitated enormously positive experiences for thousands of past and present students. However, the Greek system is not perfect, and we must continually reflect and challenge it in order to move it forward. We acknowledge that the Moving Dartmouth Forward Presidential Steering Committee has been tasked with addressing the issues outlined in this document. However, we strongly believe that new policy must come from the bottom up in order for substantive change to be effective and supported by the student body. With the infrastructure of a cohesive community already in place, student-driven reforms can have a large impact quickly and effectively. We are eager to work with the administration on this document and are willing to engage in a dialogue about its details and execution. We, the student leaders of the Greek community, are highly invested in supporting a culture of thoughtfulness, inclusivity, and responsibility. If the College adopts these recommendations, we will wholeheartedly commit to their implementation to help chart a better future for the system we hold dear.

Signed,

The Gender-Inclusive Greek Council
The Dartmouth National Pan-Hellenic Council
The Panhellenic Council
The Interfraternity Council

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