Greek life office takes unrealistic view


This year the administration hired a new director and assistant director for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL). Calvin Smith, Jr, who formerly ran Greek life at Towson University, replaced Interim Director Rob Turning as head of Greek life on campus. The new Assistant Director of the FSL, Tara Fuller, held a similar position to Smith’s at Rider University. The Editorial Board is pleased that there are now two officers in charge of Greek life, but after reviewing the interview our News & Features team conducted with Smith and Fuller, we grew wary of their objectives.

First and foremost, Smith claimed that this year all fraternity pledging would have a six-week limit. Regardless of whether or not this is a good idea, this goal is simply unrealistic. The Editorial Board firmly believes that no Greek organization will adhere to this rule. Proposing expectations like this with neither the means nor commitment to truly enforce them will only serve to perpetuate the ambiguous, muddled nature of our current system.

We recognize that Smith and Fuller have their work cut out for them. They came to Hopkins at a very difficult time for Greek life at the University. However these difficulties give Smith and Fuller unprecedented power to make new policies to improve student life and strengthen the relationship between students and our administration. But unfortunately, Smith and Fuller failed to outline any real plans of action to attain their goals. The Editorial Board urges the new officers to better understand the needs and structures of the University’s Greek organizations before establishing a vision of what they would like to see in the system as a whole.

Underground fraternities and sororities can be more problematic than their University-recognized counterparts. The Editorial Board fears that if the Office of FSL actually does enforce their policies, and Greek organizations do not abide by them and subsequently lose their status, the Homewood social scene would be even further out of the University’s control than it already is. Smith and Fuller said they “hope that [Greek organizations] don’t get suspended,” proposing that corrective action was their priority — but they need to propose specific information about the actions they would hypothetically take to prevent these events from occurring.

Furthermore, Smith and Fuller were vague throughout the interview. Due to Hopkins’ Greek scandals of the recent past, the Homewood student body is hyper-aware of what happens in the sphere of Greek life. The Board would prefer if the new Director and Assistant Director of FSL were to treat us as adults and directly speak to the problems that we’re all conscious of.

All this being said, the Editorial Board agrees with a few points that Smith and Fuller made. We appreciate their recognition that the administration’s reach is limited in Charles Village. Smith and Fuller were cognizant of the fact that Greek organizations operate within private houses, and that the college-aged students involved can “make mistakes.” The Board believes that the two mean well and genuinely have a positive vision for the Greek system that they want to establish here at the University. However, they need to provide our student body with more information about the details for how they plan to meet their goals. These are difficult times for the administration, and as trust between the University and its student body falters, transparency and realism need to be every University official’s chief concern.

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