In the wake of the fraternity suspension, the office of Fraternity and Sorority Life held a Solutions Summit to address recent problems and start a conversation on how to improve the Greek community. The event was held this past Sunday in Bush Science Center, with members from both fraternities and sororities working together to come up with ways the FSL office can help students align with their values with the mission of the college.
After an introduction by President Cornwell and the Dean of Student Affairs Meghan Harte Weyant, students were asked to write down what they considered to be the most important issue in Greek life. Students then worked together to rank each problem . Topics ranged from toxic masculinity to apathy at FSL events, but in the end, the top three issues to be discussed that day include hazing, poor leadership and communication, and violence and sexual assault.
Alyssa Grismer ’18, Non Compis Mentis Recruitment Chair and student facilitator for the Solutions Summit, is hopeful that the summit will help improve issues in the FSL community in the future. “While the summit wasn’t necessarily geared towards finding definite solutions, we at least gained some perspective on how to move forward in addressing issues that are found in the community,” she said.
“Most groups carried productive conversations that led to some great ideas and concerns that will definitely help shape future discussions and actions within the FSL community.”
Students were placed in breakout groups comprised of members from all Greek organizations to brainstorm solutions for the problems they identified in the first session. “I feel that it was fairly successful in that we, the students, were able to voice the concerns we had about our community and our administration, and the community and the administration listened,” said Evan Rogers ’18 of X-Club and Vice President of Programs for the Interfraternity Council, a student facilitator for the event. “I think the discussions today were productive and now the ball is in the faculty and student leadership’s court as to what action to take. I hope we can see lasting improvement in the Greek community.”
A common theme amongst student concerns include a lack of trust, transparency, and communication between FSL faculty and chapters. Grismer notes the issues raised, saying, “I think there was a general consensus that communication and transparency between the chapters and the FSL office are really the biggest concerns.” She added, “Looking ahead, I think ensuring that everyone is on the same page will be beneficial to building a unified community that promotes responsibility and authenticity.”
Casey Casteel ’17, House Manager of Lambda Chi, explained what he would like to see as a result of the summit. “Personally, I would love to see more transparency from the admin staff,” he said. “If we are upfront on what is happening in the Greek organizations and addressing specific issues and incidents that happen, not only will it eliminate harmful rumors that could taint the integrity of organizations but it could also hold these same organizations accountable for any incidents they do commit.”
Students and faculty will continue to meet and collaborate on how to implement the changes proposed today and figure out the potential next steps. Panhellenic general body meetings, held in Bush 176 every Thursday from 12:30-1:30 pm, are open to the Rollins community.