In an open panel discussion on Wednesday, Brian Rose, vice president for student affairs, hinted that Greek Life at Binghamton University is about to undergo sweeping changes when he said that some Greek organizations will not survive the year.
“We’re going to lose a couple of organizations this year, and I expect that there will continue to be some shake-out in terms of other organizations who aren’t going to be prepared to meet our standards,” Rose said.
He added that the University is going to develop new standards, in part using the recommendations of a private consulting coalition that assessed BU Greek Life last semester.
The coalition’s 26-page report, which was submitted to the University on Thursday, calls in part for campus to allow first-semester freshmen pledging and the consolidation of the Asian Greek Council, Latino Greek Council and Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council into a single council.
The Greek Life Review Team, headed by Lloyd Howe, associate vice president for student affairs, will assess the coalition’s report over the course of the semester, but said the team has not discussed the coalition’s recommendations yet.
University President Harvey Stenger, who has previously spoken out against first-semester freshmen pledging, said he still supports the University’s ban.
“The report does not change my opinion on that issue,” he wrote in an email to Pipe Dream. “I will however, review the issue with our dean of students staff and listen to their opinions before taking a final position.”
The report said lifting the ban would keep students engaged as first-year students and help students adjust to campus life sooner.
Alex Liu, president of the Interfraternity Council, said allowing first-semester freshmen to pledge would help campus-recognized chapters compete with off-campus Greek organizations — one of the overarching difficulties acknowledged in the report.
“With the existence of off-campus frats and sororities who can basically recruit whenever they want, it puts pressure on the on-campus [organizations],” said Liu, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law.
The coalition also recommended consolidating AGC and LGC into MGFC as part of a larger plan to simplify the governing councils and increase their efficiency, a plan which would also include having professional fraternities receive advising and support from specific University departments.
However, Cindy Vong, president of the Asian Greek Council, wants AGC to remain independent.
“I think that if you’re going to say that we should represent different cultures then you should therefore keep the councils separate,” said Vong, a junior double-majoring in environmental studies and political science. “There’s a Latino Greek Council and then there’s an Asian Greek Council because we have different interests.”
Jessica Iankowitz, president of the Professional Fraternity Council, said that several of the professional Greek organizations on campus already work closely with campus advisers, but she was open to the idea of working officially with an adviser.
“I don’t really know what role each professor would have so I wouldn’t know what to expect … but they would definitely be welcome,” she said.