The IAGGL Draft Report is out! Let’s cut to the chase. The Board of Trustees called for demonstrated progress towards four objectives for fraternities and sororities. How did we do?
- IAGGL assessed fraternities and sororities achieved the objectives for academics and discipline.
- IAGGL found fraternities and sororities met the objectives for demonstrated learning opportunities and benefits to the College as a whole as measured through existing residence life programs.
- IAGGL found fraternities and sororities demonstrated progress at improving transparency and communication in recruitment including practiced non-discrimination policies. IAGGL concluded open access such as a lottery for membership is not a realistic expectation of values based groups such as fraternities and sororities that select membership according to their groups’ values.
The chair of the Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL) posted the draft report today for the entire Lafayette community to review and comment:
To facilitate community feedback, two open forums will be held to discuss the draft and to answer questions regarding the data or recommendations:
- Monday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. in Colton Chapel – students
- Tuesday April 22, 4:15 p.m. in Hugel 103 – faculty, staff, and other interested members of the community
You should read the full announcement.
The IAGGL draft report makes several recommendations. Here is my personal take for DKE, which applies to my perspective on fraternities and sororities as a whole:
- Revamped accreditation program is good. Accreditation itself is not new; only the multimedia format is new, which should help students showcase the benefits of fraternity and sorority affiliation. I look forward to working with the College to strengthen the accreditation program. We can, should and must be held accountable to our shared values with the College. The College already knows from STEPS and COMPASS that accreditation programs successfully predict struggling chapters. It is good to see a recommendation to use an accreditation program to justify expansion as well.
- Tracking men’s recruitment via ICS solves an issue DKE has pushed for over the past several years. This scalable process will help cut through red tape that Scott Harris ’95 and Dr. Asela Gunawardana ’95 have been fighting to obtain accurate academic profiles of potential new members BEFORE the start of the fall semester (this is difficult due to FERPA requirements protecting privacy of students). Implementing this change will also help rising sophomores, juniors and seniors express interest in joining any fraternity. An additional on-ramp into the fraternal experience is helpful.
- Waiting on expansion is right, but also wrong. It is right because there are no applications for recognition available to be acted upon due to the moratorium. Any decisions the College makes regarding expansion should take into account the existing community of recognized fraternities and sororities as well as the direction of the College, as the draft report suggests. However, the recommendation as written is wrong because it stops short of recommending the lifting of the temporary moratorium on recognition of new chapters, which was supposed to be in place until IAGGL’s conclusion. The moratorium should be lifted immediately with the conclusion of IAGGL so that groups may begin preparing their applications with the knowledge gained through the IAGGL process. No applications for recognition should be acted upon without considering the critical issues of 1) Context of the application with currently recognized chapters and 2) Fit with the overall direction of the College, including sustained demand among students for new chapters.
DKE believes there is significant demand among students today to join fraternities beyond the capacity of the four currently recognized fraternities (DKE, DU, Phi Kappa Psi and Zeta Psi). We want additional chapters, but we only want successful chapters.
The Lafayette covers the IAGGL draft in an article today “Back to Square One: IAGGL report draft provides no clear answers regarding Greek Life’s future” by Michael A. Kowaleski ‘14:
President Alison Byerly, who inherited the program from Weiss, said that there is no timetable for a final ruling.
“I expect the administration and the Board will respond formally to the report, saying ‘thank you’ for the report, we anticipate doing X, Y and Z,’” she said. “When that would happen, I don’t know.”
There are still two open forums that will be conducted before a final report is filed to the Board of Trustees in May.
In the meantime, it would appear that those in the Lafayette community looking for a conclusion to the “Greek discussion” will have to wait for the Board of Trustees to decide the future of Greek life on campus. IAGGL didn’t provide a smoking gun condemning Greeks, but there was no ringing endorsement.
The article also reports on student reactions.
The Alumni Interfraternity Sorority Board (AISB) had a productive conversation with Dr. Annette Diorio, VP of Campus Life and Senior Diversity Officer (and IAGGL Chair) after receiving the draft report. We are also actively engaged with the Alumni Association and the relevant committees on the Board of Trustees.
You can always provide me input at firstname.lastname@example.org, by leaving a comment below, or contacting your chapter’s AISB representative.
As Annette pointed out in her announcement, there is a tremendous amount of common ground among all stakeholders at Lafayette College, including students and alumni in fraternities and sororities. We will continue to lay out a vision of how fraternities and sororities can help fuel the College’s success if we build on that common ground, and highlight immediate steps the College can take towards that vision.