President Sheldon Hackney yesterday held fast to his stance not to move Locust Walk fraternities despite growing pressure from influential campus groups. The Faculty Senate Wednesday added its powerful voice to wide-spread sentiment that fraternity removal should be considered in the diversification of Locust Walk. But Hackney reiterated his position that allowing fraternities to be removed from the Walk would tear the campus apart. "I have been saying from the outset that we could change the character of Locust Walk without the process being divisive," the president said yesterday. "I am not out to punish anyone and I don't want to conduct a vendetta." The Faculty Senate and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly have also called on Hackney to reexamine the membership of the Locust Walk committee. They said graduate students, with only one committee member, are underrepresented. Hackney said yesterday he would not consider changing the make-up of the Walk committee, but said to ensure getting a wide range of views, the group will conduct open forums and interviews. Hackney formed the Walk committee last semester in response to student and faculty concerns that the campus' prime residential space is open only to predominantly white fraternities. In his charge to the committee this fall, Hackney said members should not consider moving the 11 Walk fraternities in examining ways to allow a greater mix of students to live on the campus's main artery. The Faculty Senate unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday stating that the Walk committee "should be free to make any recommendation it wishes on the uses of Locust Walk," according to Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips. The resolution joins an almost identical GAPSA resolution and echoes criticism from many undergraduate and graduate students. Phillips said Wednesday that he may resign from the committee because he thinks Hackney's charge restricts the group's actions. He said yesterday that he has made no further decisions and declined to comment on Hackney's refusal to consider changes. The Faculty Senate head said the second meeting of the Walk committee last night did not sway his decision either way. Both Phillips and GAPSA Chairperson Susan Garfinkel, the graduate member of the Walk committee, have threatened to resign because they think Hackney has taken away the group's maneuvering room. But Garfinkel said last night she will not resign at this time. The GAPSA chairperson told her constituents at a monthly meeting last night that she thinks it is premature to resign, saying it is better to wait to see how committee deliberations proceed. But the Arts and Sciences graduate student said she has not ruled out leaving the committee, adding that she is more likely to step down because of Hackney's charge than because of the make-up of the advisory body. At last night's meeting, GAPSA members announced plans to form their own committee on Walk diversification which will send recommendations to the president's committee. Many GAPSA members said only Garfinkel can decide whether to remain on the committee. Garfinkel said members feel it is better to have access to the committee's information than to take a stance against the president through her resignation. Other Walk committee members -- some of whom have also considered resigning from the committee -- said last night they think the committee should move beyond current debate over the committee's make-up and charge and begin deliberations on what to do with Locust Walk. "I think it's a shame that [Hackney] is not willing to change the committee's makeup, but we need to start concentrating on the issues," Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance Co-Chairperson Robin Wood said last night. "I think at this point I'm committed to working it through with this committee." Black InterGreek Council President Kathryn Williams, who said she never thought of leaving the committee, said last night she is not concerned with the president's specific charge to the committee. "Our major function is to bring up the many issues and let him understand where the campus is coming from," Williams said. "The committee can do whatever it wants to do and the president can do whatever he wants to do."Comments powered by Disqus
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