Two months after Penn's former director of fraternity and sorority life left his position, the search for his replacement is intensifying. Student leaders within Greek life are working to ensure that their concerns and opinions about the search are being taken into account.
Earlier this semester, former Director of Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Eddie Banks-Crosson left his position to transition into his new role as the director of Wharton's MBA Office of Student Life. Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Hikaru Kozuma has temporarily taken over Banks-Crosson's former responsibilities while the administration searches for a new director.
Kozuma said he hopes Penn will extend a job offer by the end of this semester so that the new director will be able to familiarize themself with the role through the summer and be ready for regular operations by the start of the fall semester.
In the past two months, Kozuma has assembled a team of students and administrators to search for Banks-Crosson's replacement. This team includes the presidents of the Interfraternity Council, Intercultural Greek Council, and Panhellenic Council, as well as representatives from the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Associate Director of the Office of Student Activities Rodney Robinson also sits on the committee.
Panhel President and College junior Kaylee Slusser said she is glad that she and the other council presidents have had the opportunity to be “very involved” in the process.
“I’m very appreciative that the administration has been so open and also really values our input so we’re really there every step of the way," she said.
Kozuma said the committee is currently “in the process of evaluating applications” and is looking for a good fit for “not only what is required for the director of fraternity and sorority life, but what’s required for the director of fraternity and sorority life particularly at Penn.”
The job offering was posted in late January, and from the initial applicant pool a certain number of candidates were selected for video interviews. The first round of interviews was submitted a few weeks ago, and the second round was submitted earlier this week.
Currently, the committee is determining who should be brought to campus. While Kozuma was unable to say how many applicants have applied or are being considered, he noted that similar search processes usually bring about three candidates to campus.
During these visits, which are expected to occur in late April, candidates will be interviewed and have the chance to tour campus.
Candidates will meet OFSL staff and members of other departments they will work with on a daily basis, such as the Division of Public Safety and Penn's various cultural groups. They will also meet students, specifically those who represent the Greek community by serving on the IFC, IGC or Panhel.
Slusser said she is glad that students will be able to interact with the potential director, as it gives the candidates “a better sense of who we are, what we care about, and seeing if that aligns."
"We just want someone that’s able to relate to the students and is able to understand Penn. I think Penn is a very unique place," Slusser said.
After all candidates have been brought to campus, the committee will meet again to decide the top candidate. IGC President and Wharton junior Rio Dennis said she hopes the new director will be someone who has a “concrete” understanding of IGC organizations and how these organizations “function so differently” from Panhel and IFC organizations.
Dennis said that the major issue that she and the IGC have had during their time at Penn is "constantly having to explain why [they're] different" to various administrative departments.
However, Dennis added that the director needs to know how each of these three communities functions and needs to have the “proper credentials” for leading Greek life at Penn.
IFC Executive Vice President and College sophomore Brian Schmitt said that he hopes the new director will be similar to Banks-Crosson.
"Eddie loved Greek life, and he believed in it too,” Schmitt said. “I want an OFSL director that believes in us and that’s willing to work with us and wants us to become the best we can possibly be.”