Greek life committee members announced
According to Dean of Undergraduate Students Kathleen Deignan, who will be chairing the committee, a number of students put their names forward to be considered for the the committee, and others were suggested by alumni, faculty, staff or other students.
“From this pool we invited a group of students we believe represents a range of interests and experiences and will function well as a team,” Deignan said in an email.
According to the University’s website, University President Shirley Tilghman charged the group to “clearly describe the kinds of actions and interactions that should be prohibited under the policy; to suggest appropriate, fair and effective penalties to encourage compliance; and to suggest the best methods to communicate and assess compliance with the policy.”
After the University announced the ban through a post on its website on Aug. 23, Tilghman sent an email to the student body informing them of the decision and encouraging students interested in joining the committee to reach out to Vice President for Campus Life Cynthia Cherrey.
The formation of the committee comes after the leaders of many fraternities and sororities expressed concern about how the ban would be enforced. Students emphasized the importance of defining what, specifically, constitutes a “rush” activity, and some were concerned that they may be forced to cut off all interactions with freshmen to be safe and avoid punishment.
“I want to ensure that the policy is enacted in a sensible manner that is not harmful to the student body,” committee member Shreya Murthy ’13 said in an email. “If the policy is too vague or too specific, it risks causing unintentional harm. The committee needs to be very careful in its work in order to effectively craft a ban policy.”
Murthy, who is a member of a sorority, said she was invited by a senior administrator to take part in the committee.
Among the six undergraduates taking part in the committee, three are involved with Greek life. Fraternity and sorority members were frustrated with their lack of involvement with the Working Group on Campus Social and Residential Life, which issued a report last May recommending the ban on freshman affiliation with fraternities and sororities.
In last year’s Open Forums and in the meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community this September, members of Greek organizations requested that the administration solicit their input on how to implement the policy.
“The decision to appoint three students involved with Greek organizations on the committee is a very good one,” English professor and committee member William Gleason said in an email.
Murthy echoed the sentiments, noting that she hopes the representation of affiliated students will result in a sound policy.
“I feel more hopeful that a sensible policy will be crafted, knowing that the fraternities and sororities do have some say in this aspect of the decision,” Murthy said.
Along with Murthy, the other students serving on the committee are Arda Bozyigit ’12, Thomas Hellstern ’12, Jamie Joseph ’13, Jacob Nebel ’13 and Kees Thompson ’13. Deignan said the students were selected because they have a diverse set of interests and would work well together as a team.
“Since the purpose of this committee is to craft an effective policy implementation plan, having students around the table with different experiences, including membership in Greek organizations, maximizes the opportunity for the best ideas to emerge,” Deignan said.
Deignan added that the committee will be meeting “every other week or so” and will solicit input from others not on the committee in between. Deignan is joined on the committee by Associate Deans of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne and Victoria Jueds. The other faculty member on the committee is Deborah Prentice, chair of the psychology department.
The University also announced the co-chairs of four other groups, which are intended to address leadership, orientation, campus social events and residential life. This coming spring, a group will be formed to discuss the reinstitution of a campus pub.