The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

President Sheldon Hackney yesterday defended his stance against relocating the 11 Locust Walk fraternities after a recent report's suggestion that the houses be moved. The campus life report, dubbed the Faust Report after Committee Chairperson Drew Faust, was released Tuesday after almost two years of work. It recommends wide-ranging administative and structural changes to create "pluralism," which it defines as integration of diverse groups. Faust's committee calls for members of the committee working to diversify Locust Walk to recognize "the strong sentiment we heard in the course of our deliberations for the relocation of the fraternities away from the center of campus." The report, commissioned by Hackney, also said there is strong sentiment on campus to abolish the Greek system entirely, noting that "fraternities are widely viewed as a significant obsticle to the growth of pluralistic attitudes on campus." Hackney said yesterday that while he feels the study as a whole sets positive and acheivable goals, he disagreed with the singling out of fraternities. "I think the report in general is excellent . . . [but] obviously I don't agree with every single reccommendation in there," Hackney said. "I think its wrong to focus on fraternities as the only homogenous group on campus." "If homogeneneity is what you object to, there are countless homogenious groups on campus," he added, pointing to DuBois College House and the Hillel Foundation. "I don't think it's going to work to say we're going to remove all homogenious groups." And Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson, who co-chairs the Locust Walk committee, said that she thinks singling out fraternities has a negative effect on achieving a plural campus. "I think what was behind the president's charge . . . is bringing the campus together, and not tearing it apart," Morrisson said. Interfraternity Council President Bret Kinsella said he feels fraternities have the resources to help bring about a pluralistic campus. "Fraternities can be an integral part of promoting and enhancing this pluralistic community," Kinsella said. "We can act as a great facilitator towards this end." But the two heads of student government -- Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris and Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chairperson Susan Garfinkel -- said last night that they agreed with the report's discussion of Locust Walk. Harris and Garfinkel -- both of whom sit on the Locust Walk committee -- said they think President Hackney should have given the group the latitude to discuss whether fraternities should be removed from Locust Walk. She said the charge relagated the committee to a "rubber stamp" role. "I think he [Hackney] should have consulted the committee before instituting such restrictive guidelined and parameters," Harris said. "I think if the administration is committed to a plural community, then that can be acheived, but after attending two diversify the Walk committee meetings, I think [the administration's commitment] is highly questionable." Both Garfinkel and Harris emphasized that they think the Faust Report was "excellent," adding that its vision should guide the University. "I think that it raises a lot of concerns that are really fundemental to life at the University," Garfinkle said. "The whole issue of diversity versus pluralism is really to the point." She added that she felt the disscussion of the mistreatment of University staff is also very relevant, saying that it is an area that has not been discussed in the past and needs to be addressed. "They aren't considered part of the community," the Arts and Sciences graduate student said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.