Assistant News Editor
The Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Denison is currently in the process of implementing a By-Law sanctioned Standards Board composed of fraternity men to ensure the fair representation of its organizations during allegations of misconduct. While the proposal is still awaiting full administrative approval, significant progress has been made in determining the board’s ideal roles and membership characteristics.
The Standards Board, through its intricate involvement in the conduct review process, hopes to have three main functions within the Denison Greek community. First, the Board would represent the interests of students regarding fraternity life by creating an unbiased jury of their peers to assess charges of conduct violations. Second, this institution would facilitate better cooperation between Greeks and the administration in all interactions. Finally, the Board would afford IFC the accountability to legitimize its actions when providing recommendations for the handling of misconduct investigations.
IFC believes that the realization of these functions will allow a harmonious environment to flourish where Greeks can have a significant student voice in conduct matters without subverting the administration’s authority.
According to the IFC proposal, the Board’s membership would consist of one person from each individual chapter as well as a chairman appointed by the Executive Committee. Although any member of a chapter is eligible to apply to sit on the Board, IFC suggests the representative to be the Risk Management Officer, in order to assign some accountability to that position.
Additionally, the Vice President of Standards would participate in discussion and oversee proceedings as an Ex-Officio member, but would only cast a vote in the event of a tie. These participant confinements will help to verify the transparency of the Board’s motives and determinations while setting clear expectations for interested applicants.
When allegations against member organizations arise, they will be fully reported to the Standards Board for thorough review and analysis. A recommendation report based on the Board’s findings will then be forwarded to the Campus Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC) office for consideration. IFC Vice President of Standards Chris Hoye ‘16, of Lambda Chi Alpha, believes that having the evidence analyzed by members of the Greek community “would establish accurate context and understanding of a situation, which would prevent excessive punishment of an organization when unneccessary.”
The two primary responsibilities that can potentially be granted to the Board are outlined in Section II Article XV of the IFC By-Laws as follows: 1) “The Standards Board shall hear all cases as referred by the Executive Board in which the integrity or safety of the chapters, its members or the fraternal system at large are placed in jeopardy by a member of the Fraternity/Sorority Community.” 2) “The Standards Board shall have authority to make final decisions on responsibilities and sanctions in such cases.
The allocation of all or most of these duties to the Standards Board would represent a substantial legacy of forward progress and increased membership involvement for the current IFC Executive Committee. The Board’s enactment would provide a number of new leadership opportunities for chapter members that would be especially attractive to students interested in legal studies or political science. However, there would be a thorough application, screening, and training process for potential Board representatives to ensure that bias is absent from all deliberation.
Photo courtesy Hung Tran, ’15