Monday, April 27, 2009

Darmouth Greeks Write "Best Practices Guidelines"

Greek organizations write formal guidelines
By Jamila Ma

The three Greek organizations sanctioned last term for incidents at fall formal events have developed a “Best Practices Guidelines” document that outlines procedures to be followed before, during and after off-campus events to ensure the safety and appropriate conduct of attendees. Dean of the College Tom Crady, in an interview with The Dartmouth, said the incidents have prompted him to talk with students and administrators in the future about how to create better policies for off-campus events.

Crady said that all three appeals by fraternities put on probation last term were denied. He declined to give more specific information.

Delta Delta Delta sorority, Sigma Delta sorority and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity were required to collaborate with the Greek Leadership Council and Greek Letter Organizations and Societies to create the document with the Organization Adjudication Committee, as part of their sanctions.

The document, written at the end of last term, recommends establishing clearer expectations with formal venues before events and clarifying any ambiguous details, including who is responsible for cleaning the location and possible reasons for additional fees.

At its fall formal, members of Sigma Delt did not realize that they were responsible for cleaning up at the Skiway, where they held the event, The Dartmouth previously reported.

The document also includes provisions for additional “sober monitors.”

The guidelines suggest that organizations compile a list of guests before the formal event and outline appropriate standards of conduct.

“A huge part of the issue is that people’s dates are not held accountable for their actions and don’t feel like they have a stake in the event’s success,” Tri-Delt President Joanne Schneider ‘10 said.

Crady also said that the actions of non-members at formal events is a “difficult issue,” adding that he aims to talk to students, representatives from the Office of Residential Life and members of Greek organizations about how to create better policies and decrease ambiguity regarding off-campus events and behavior.

“It’s a good discussion that I’d like to have,” he said.

Greek organizations are appealing a greater percentage of OAC decisions than in the past, Crady said, adding that his direct handling of all appeals may have contributed to this increase. Previously, whoever heard the original case would also hear the appeal.

Sig-Ep, Heorot and Sigma Delt were put on social probation for four weeks, Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity for three weeks and Tri-Delt for the Winter term.

An organization can appeal an OAC decision if new evidence has come to light since the original hearing or if members believe a procedural error was made, Crady said. The presidents of Tri-Kap and Sig Ep said that both of these conditions applied to their cases, and Chi Heoret’s president declined to comment, as previously reported in The Dartmouth.

“A procedural error could occur if [an organization] thought someone was biased in the committee,” Crady said.

Tri-Delt, Sigma Delt and Sig Ep are not permitted to host, co-host, co-sponsor or contribute any organizational funds, services or labor to any off-campus formals, social events or other social activities for the next three terms, according to the Office of Judicial Affairs BlitzMail bulletin.

Tri-Delt’s national organization, which has a policy of imposing harsher sanctions on a chapter than those imposed by the university, placed the sorority on social probation for three terms, Schneider said.

“The sanctions state that we are not allowed to have events with non-members until the fall — this includes any fraternity functions, formals or philanthropy events,” Schneider said in an e-mail.

The sanctions do not apply to pre-rush events, Schneider said.

Sig Ep and Heorot officials declined to comment. Sigma Delt and Tri-Kap officials did not respond to requests for comment.