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September 06, 2000 - Image 47

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-06

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Wednesday, September 6, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 9C

"U' to limit group use of Rackham

4y isa Koivu
Dai y StaffReporter
Beginning this month, any student group wishing to
perform in Rackham Auditorium will have to be regis-
tered with Rackham Student Government.
' his will prevent the majority of student
,groups on campus from using the facilities, as
pnly groups with a significant number of gradu-
a'testudents involved are recognized by RSG.
Enforcement of the policy "is not so much a
ridical departure from the norm as it is a move to
finally bring the use of Rackham Facilities into
fljn with the original, legally binding terms/wish-
es of the Rackham Deed of Trust on which Rack-
am was founded in 1935," RSG President
Damon Fairfield said in a written statement.
The deed said that, among others, no -under-
*raduate activities or organizations would be per-
twitted to perform in the building.
"The Rackham building was intended to pri-
marily serve the needs of the graduate student
community, acting as a focal point for graduate
student activities on campus," Fairfield said.
"Over the past several years RSG, Rackham and
Greek system
Hanna LoPatdn
Daily Staff Reporter
With 924 women and 626 men from last year's
freshman class rushing sororities and fraternities, it is
clear that the Greek system is a large part of life at the
University. "Last year was a record year," said Panhel-
lenic Advisor Mary Beth Seiler.
Out of those who rushed, 676 women and 351 men
pledged the Greek system. Seiler said these are actual-
ly high retention rates and that most of the difference is
ade up of people who dropped out rather than those
ho did not receive bids. Some people simply decide
that the Greek system is not for them, Seiler said.
"We encourage students who have any interest in
Greek life to rush," she said. "I'd rather people decide
based on their personal experience than on what peo-
ple tell them." Rush takes place in the fall for sororities
and in both the fall and the winter for fraternities.
Seiler said that the Greek system is "a small
community on a very large campus that can pro-
vide a lot of opportunity."
Among those opportunities are leadership, ser-
vice, scholastic support and friendship, Seiler said.
"'1ve seen what it's done for a lot of students -
how they've grown personally," she added.
After college, students can participate in alumni
associations or earn advantages in the career world
through career networking programs. In these pro-
grams a collegiate graduate can register with a
national organization and get matched up with an
alum who is already established in that particular city.
Many of the groups on campus are known for asso-
ia ting with a certain religious or cultural group, but
et these associations are either rejected or uninten-
tional. "Most of the groups don't want to be identified
as predominantly anything," Seiler said. "People join
where they're happy and they're comfortable."
'U' releases ne

other graduate student organizations have all worked Power Center are always booked," Rice said.
together toward the creation of a unified graduate com- LSA sophomore Kym Stewart, founder of A
munity on campus, with the Rackham building at its Cappella United, a coalition of the 14 a cappella
heart, as its founders intended," he added. groups on campus, said the policy will really hurt
RSG recently began registering groups to groups on campus. "We all have concerts there.
make sure their membership is in compliance Now we're stuck," Stewart said. "We just have a
with the policy, Fairfield said. different interpretation of the trust. There are a
"We've always asked for groups to provide this cappella groups with graduate students in them
information, but we've never officially asked for and many graduate students view our concerts."
them to register with us," he said. Fairfield said he believes events such as read-
Kevin Gilmartin, director of the Office of ings sponsored by the English Department will
Major Events, said the policy for student group still be permitted at Rackham. "As far as I know,
usage of the building has continuously changed department-sponsored events, such as the under-
throughout the years graduate English Department, should not be
"For a while, anyone using Rackham had to have a affected by this," Fairfield said.
letter from the dean. Then for five to six years there RSG passed a resolution in September supporting
was a liberalization in the policy and you no longer the changes to the Rackham Facilities Usage Policy.
needed a letter attesting to the appropriateness of the "We believe these changes are not only in the best
event, allowing a number of organizations to use the interest of the graduate student community, which we
hall," Gilmartin said. were elected to serve and represent," Fairfield said. "It
Shanon Rice, administrative assistant for University will also go a long way toward addressing the concerns
Productions, said anyone scheduling events will now which graduate student organizations have expressed
have to work harder to utilize the Lydia Mendelssohn over the past several years about the difficulties which
Theatre and the Power Center. "It will be really hard on they have faced scheduling certain areas of Rackham,
them though, because the Mendelssohn Theatre and such as the Rackham Auditorium, for their events"
offers friendship, leadership
Seiler said she sees it as a possibility in the
future. "We have a good relationship," Seiler
said. "Change takes a while"
The Greek systems has had its share of prob-
lems in the past few years. Incidents such as the
shooting of a pledge in the groin with a BB gun
by a member of the now disbanded Alpha Epsilon
Pi fraternity have seen a hazing task force formed
by the students in leadership positions.
The new hazing policy gives students a place
to report hazing incidents and sets up a system
for trials and appeals. "You don't get to do any-
thing and everything that you want to do," Seiler
said. "There will be consequences."
Alcohol has also played a role in changing the
Greek system as well. While is the past sororities
BRAD QUINN/ Daly were not allowed to write checks for alcohol,
Both sororities and fraternities have rush in the fall. they are no longer able to co-sponsor parties
During times of discrimination in the past, some were alcohol is present. The policy, which was
fraternities and sororities were founded to provide a instated by the sororities' national organization
home to certain religious and ethnic groups. will bring in a third party, Seiler said.
There are some options, however, for those Sororities can pay for parties that take place
who wish to identify with a particular ethnic at restaurants or bars, taking the responsibility of
group. Together, the Panhellenic Association and under-age drinking off of them and placing it
the Interfraternity Council house three Latino onto the restaurants.
fraternities and sororities. This policy abolishes the traditional two-way
Also, the Black Greek Association has several and four-way fraternity parties that were known
fraternities and sororities. Separate from Panhel on campus. Fraternities can have what is known
and the IFC, these groups do not have housing and as a friend's party. The fraternity pays for the.
are known primarily as having a strong commit- entirety of the party but provides a guest list of
ment to community service. BGA also has heavy people to be allowed in. The guest lists, however,
alumni involvement, Seiler said. Membership in are limited to a figure that will be determined by
BGA is not closed to including solely black stu- the Social Responsibility Committee in the fall.
dents, she added. They are open for anyone to join. During Welcome Week and up until Fall
Seiler said she sees a closer association between Rush, the fraternities will not be allowed to have
Panhel, IFC and BGA in the future. Currently all three more than 20 non-Greek members in their house
organizations share one office. Though BGA does not while alcohol is present - an attempt to keep
participate in Greek Week, as the groups grow larger, out the freshmen who are clearly underage.
w hazing policy

In the past, Rackham Auditorium has been a popular place for many student events.
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By Caitlin Nish
Sly Staff Reporter
Backing up its promise with quick action, the Universi-
ty Hazing Task Force released a preventative hazing poli-
cy that the task force is recommending to the Greek
system.
The policy defines hazing as "any action or situation,
with or without consent of the participants, which reck-
lessly, intentionally or unintentionally endangers the men-
tal, physical or academic health or safety of a student"
It also outlines accountability, procedure and sanctions
that could occur if a chapter is found guilty of hazing.
Interfraternity Council President Adam Silver said the
*mmittee's detailed policy exceeded his expectations.
"One of the problems in the past is we've never
addressed the issue, it's been the Greek system's dirty lit-
tle secret," Silver said.
"This policy is an integral part in changing the culture
of the Greek community," he said.
The 15 members of the hazing task force had until the
end of the semester to compile a hazing policy.
All three branches of the Greek system are expected to
vote on the policy when it is presented to them later this
#ek for ratification.
"Most important when creating the policy was keep-
ing it centered around self-government and self-
enforcement," said LSA senior David Singer, co-chair
6f the task force,
"It is important that we show we can take care of our-
selves and we will address the problem within our system
without being told to do so," he said.
In order to create the policy, the task force looked to
the policies of other Big Ten schools.
"We selected a bunch of different policies which
seemed the most thorough and picked out the loopholes
make sure that we didn't have those in ours," said Busi-
ess junior Brad Chod, co-chair of the task force.
The policy states that each term an appointed 12-mem-
ber committee will be appointed and will preside over all
investigations and hearings regarding hazing that occur
throughout the semester.
Singer said if the policy is ratified, the task force will

ensure the confidentiality of students, faculty or parents
who alert the force to allegations of hazing through e-
mail, a special phone line or a drop box located in the
Office of Greek Life.
After receiving a tip, the task force will then choose
three members with no bias on a case to case basis to
investigate allegations. A letter of accusation will be hand
delivered to the president of the chapter in question. If
there is sufficient evidence for a hearing, the president of
the chapter and the individuals accused of wrongdoing
must appear in front of the group.
The individual who is accusing the chapter may pro-
vide testimony or can opt to give testimony through
investigators. In addition, the chapter's national organiza-
tion will be alerted to the charges and date of the hearing.
If found guilty of wrongdoing, sanctions can be imposed
upon the chapter and individuals will be reported to the
Office of Conflict Resolution for further investigation into
violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
According to the policy, sanctions imposed on a chap-
ter can include a written formal reprimand, disciplinary
probation, community service hours or projects, mandato-
ry educational programming, rush infractions and penal-
ties, monetary fites, suspension or expulsion.
In addition to the procedural process of investigations
and hearings, a main facet of the hazing policy is a pre-
ventative education program.
All chapter presidents and new-member educators will
be required to attend programs. New members will be
required to sign the policy before accepting a bid.
"I think (the policy) will make a difference, we have to
believe that. We need to be diligent in enforcing and con-
tinuing our educational efforts," Panhel Adviser Mary
Beth Seiler said.
Singer and Chod expect the policy to help the Greek
community rather than anger it, as some expect.
"Does every person think that this is best? No, but it is
best for the system as a whole," Chod said.
Singer agreed, saying the Greek community, not Univer-
sity administration, must deal with the problem of hazing.
"This is not meant to splinter the Greek system or to spark
any controversy. Itsis to say we understand that there is a
problem and we are going to take our own initiative."

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