On the heels of the anti-hazing working group formed last December, administrators and members of the Greek community have now formed four new task forces to proactively examine issues facing Penn’s Greek community.
The task forces will focus on four key issues: alcohol and drugs, hazing, sexual assault and mental health. Students, staff and possibly some faculty will compose the task force, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Scott Reikofski said. The groups, which have not yet met, will convene every two or three weeks. At their first meetings, each group will establish goals about what it wants to focus on and accomplish.
The formation of the four Greek task forces was partly due to the anti-hazing working group’s success in addressing issues before they became larger problems. The new groups, however, will be more specifically focused on Greek life.
The Interfraternity Council “was a reactionary group last semester, and this inhibited our ability to be proactive,” IFC President Jimmy Germi, a College senior , said. Germi feels the progress of the four task forces will improve Greek life at Penn by tackling issues proactively.
The task forces will meet over the course of the semester with the goal of creating proposals that can be implemented in the spring. Recommendations can consist of anything from IFC policy changes to changes in party registration protocol.
Though the task forces will work primarily with the IFC, Germi said that in cases such as the sexual assault task force, it was important to include the PanHellenic Council as well as the larger Penn community . The task forces will also look to other schools’ policies as potential models for Penn.
While each of the task forces will focus on a single subject, there are some issues that they aren’t set to address.
“While other issues, like diversity, are very important to me and to Greek organizations, we eliminated [them] because we didn’t want to dilute the efficacy of the task forces and so we could more easily monitor their progress,” Germi said.
At the same time, the IFC is working with the United Minorities Council to discuss cultural sensitivities and how to deal with some issues that have arisen — like the “gangsta”-themed Beta Theta Pi–Chi Omega mixer last semester, which some students considered insensitive .
While Germi said they cannot be sure what will come out of the task groups until they have been fully enacted, he is hopeful that they will yield beneficial results.
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