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A Letter from Greek Alumni Leadership

The Greek system has been a pillar of the Dartmouth College experience. It has produced scholars, athletes, and successful men and women in all walks of life. On campus, it has anchored a vibrant and welcoming social life for all students, and has supported the community through philanthropic initiatives and service programs.

Throughout its history, the Greek system has evolved to changing times and priorities, reflecting society on the whole and the Dartmouth community in which it exists. Without change and growth, the Greek system would whither and die; however, like most successful institutions that change must come from within, driven by a sense of purpose and responsibility that cannot simply be imposed upon it.

This is one of those times. While many in the Greek system believe that it has been narrowly and unfairly portrayed both at Dartmouth and in the broader press, with some on campus calling for its eradication, we believe that it serves a strong and enduring purpose at Dartmouth, that helps the College fulfill its mission of producing outstanding and well-rounded men and women. To continue in that important role however, we believe that the system must once again evolve to address systemic issues that can weigh heavily upon its reputation and unduly taint its membership.

With this goal in mind, we, the Greek Alumni Advisors and Corporation Presidents, have worked with our undergraduate members and other constituencies in the Greek system to craft a new social contract, which the undergraduates have proposed in the attached letter. That letter represents the collective principles and priorities of our entire community- fraternities, sororities, and gender-inclusive houses, undergraduates and alums alike. It addresses some of the most visible and pressing issues at Dartmouth today, and provides unprecedented consensus and commitment with respect to 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 fully back our undergraduate members in this initiative. The areas that they have highlighted in their letter and on which together we have called for action can have an appreciable impact on life at Dartmouth College and the perception of its Greek system in the community and in the broader media. These initiatives represent a shared vision for a renewed social contract with Dartmouth, and we pledge to support the undergraduates as they strive to live by these guidelines and expectations, with a goal of making the system safer, healthier, and more inclusive. Moreover, we invite the College’s faculty and administrators to join us in this effort.

Dartmouth properly has been recognized as an “enduring institution” based, in part, on the “culture and values,” “adaptive response” and “legitimacy” that enabled the College to overcome many challenges over the years. Some of those challenges have been unique to Dartmouth, while others were the result of broader changes in society. We believe that this undergraduate Greek initiative to address the present issues of concern on campus is squarely in line with how the Dartmouth community has successfully addressed past challenges. Dartmouth’s Greek system has long been an integral part of this enduring institution, and we believe the undergraduates’ proposal is a thoughtful response to a changed environment that preserves the Greek system’s positive culture and values and the legitimacy of student leadership and accountability,

We pledge to support our undergraduate organizations- with our time, effort and funds- to ensure that this initiative is a success. Moving the Greek system forward will be an iterative process, but already we are proud of the countless hours of debate and self-reflection that went into this document, of the compromises our undergraduate members made to ensure that it accounted for diverse sentiments and priorities, as well as the critical issues identified by the College.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important proposal. Together, we can chart a long and positive future for the Greek system, ensuring that it remains a viable and responsible member of the community, contributing to the academic, social, and extracurricular life at Dartmouth and across the Upper Valley and beyond.


The Dartmouth Greek Corporation Presidents and Advisors

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