A report prevents new single-sex Greek residences and bans taps and bars in houses. More than a year after Dartmouth College's president recommended a large-scale overhaul of residential and social life on campus, the school's Board of Trustees announced this week several major changes to the Greek system. The report calls for a moratorium on the creation of any new single-sex Greek houses, moving rush from the fall term of sophomore year to the winter term effective in the academic year 2001-2002, banning taps and bars in all Greek houses and abolishing the school's independent Greek judicial system. All of the initiatives are meant to better incorporate the Greek system into the school's overall social community, officials say. To achieve this, for instance, the independent Greek judicial system might be replaced by a similar system that would hear cases of both Greek and non-Greek organizations. "[The report] lays the groundwork for some fundamental changes building on Dartmouth's traditional strengths and making the most of these while moving into the future," Dartmouth spokeswoman Laurel Stavis said. Dartmouth President James Wright's recommendations last February stemmed from a number of problems within the Greek community, including many incidents of alcohol abuse in the houses, and an episode where several students with bullhorns climbed onto the balconies of at least two fraternities and made sexually suggestive remarks to female students walking below. A committee of administrators, faculty, students and alumni was formed last April to examine the Greek system after Wright and the school's trustees announced that they wanted to eliminate single-sex fraternities and sororities. Conversations between administrators and student leaders have continued throughout the year. "The president has said that the outcome was shaped by the process," Stavis said. For the most part, Greek leaders said they were satisfied with the decisions and said the trustees took their opinions into consideration. Dartmouth Panhellenic Council President Alex Kremer, a junior, said the trustees' decisions set forth standards of excellence for the Greek system and that "the sorority system has always held itself to these standards." "On the whole, I don't see this report shaking up the way the sororities operate," she said. However, Kremer said she was displeased with some aspects of the trustees' endorsements, including ending the formation of new single-sex Greek houses, which prevents the formation of a new sorority. According to Kremer, the Greeks had hoped to establish a seventh sorority in order to accommodate all women interested in pledging. Last year the six-sorority Panhel was unable to guarantee bids to all rushees. Dartmouth InterFraternity Council President Mike Johnson, a junior, agreed that the general sentiment among Greeks is one of support of the trustees' decisions. "The reactions are mixed to a certain extent? but students realize that the decisions are made in the best interest of the students," Johnson said. He said that one common concern, though, is that the move of rush to the winter term may negatively affect membership in the fraternities and sororities because many students study abroad during that time. Johnson added, however, that the trustees' initiatives are not as specific as he had anticipated. "That means that there's going to be a lot of communication between the Greek system and the administration," he said. "Ideally the fraternity system would like to take actions not recommended by the trustees but that would benefit the Dartmouth community." In addition, Johnson said he expects the changes to ease tension among administrators, faculty, Greeks and the rest of the student body. "[The initiatives] will bring out a lot of positive aspects of the Greek system," he added.Comments powered by Disqus
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