The Interfraternity Council found its 2017 president in College junior Bradley Freeman. Freeman, a member of Psi Upsilon — also known as Castle — said he seeks to improve the transparency and accountability of Penn’s Greek community. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with Freeman about his plans for the upcoming semester:
Daily Pennsylvanian: What has been your involvement at Penn?
Bradley Freeman: I’m on the Penn Parliamentary Debate team. I’m also involved with the Financial Literacy Community Project, a program that gives you a management credit to go to West Philadelphia high schools and teach kids about very basic personal finance, how to build a resume, things like that. I’m pretty involved in Castle. I was treasurer sophomore year. I’m philanthropy chair now. Beyond that, IFC is my other big thing.
DP: What sparked your interest in Greek life and the IFC?
BF: In terms of Castle, I wanted to take up a leadership position in the house. Everyone said the best way to get the most out of Greek life is to be involved in your own chapter. Some people use end of spring semester as a jumping-off point, but I’ve been pretty aggressively taking on leadership positions, and I’ve found it rewarding. With regards to IFC, that was something I didn’t expect to do. The president of IFC two years ago, Jacob Wallenberg, was in Castle and said it’s a great organization [with] new leadership positions and unique perspectives on the University and Greek life, so I thought, ‘Why not?’
DP: What would you want to change as president? How will you make this role your own?
BF: The two things I want to improve — and that I think we’ve done a good job already as well — are accountability and transparency. On the transparency note, we’ve lowered dues and we’re publishing budgets. People pay their dues to IFC and they don’t really know what they’re going towards, but what I’ve done as president of administration currently on IFC is publish the budgets, so chapters can see exactly how their money is being spent, what’s going on, and we cut dues from $10 to $5.
We want to make sure that the University and the rest of the Penn population understands that we take new member education really seriously, so one thing we’re going to start doing in the spring is publishing the percentage of members of chapters that attend all the programming that is required. Now the rest of the University will know which chapters have 100 percent attendance, 90 percent attendance or a little less attendance. This will hold everyone accountable and makes us transparent as possible.
DP: What goes on at new member education?
BF: It’s a variety of education programming about sexual assault, sexual health and how to be active members of the Penn community. There’s so many groups that want to help educate the new members, so we’re trying to find the best combination from the menu to choose from.
DP: What do you think are the biggest issues fraternities face around Penn’s campus?
BF: Perception is a big thing. While there are a lot of problems with Greek life, people tend to only hear about the bad things and not all the good things. We want to solve the problems, but we also want to let people know about the good things. One way we’re going to be able to do that is with this new accreditation program. It’s a process where fraternities fill out how much they’ve raised for philanthropy, what brothers do on campus, things like that which quantify and measure the contributions of each chapter to the Penn community at large in ways people probably don’t expect. For example, I was philanthropy chair of Castle this past semester, and we had a charity soccer tournament. We raised about a thousand dollars for the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project. This accreditation program allows us to share this with everyone.
DP: Anything to add about your upcoming role?
BF: I’m really excited for the year and to work with Caroline Ohlson — who is the new Panhellenic president — and the rest of IFC board. I didn’t expect to be here. If you asked me freshman year, ‘Are you going to be IFC president?’ it wasn’t even on my mind. I’m really excited to take on the role and improve as much as I can.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
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