Wednesday, March 20, 2013

UT (Tennessee) report: Put directors in frat houses

After the notorious "butt-chugging" incident made the UT fraternity system fodder for the late-night comedians, the university put together a task force to find ways to improve. They released their report a few days ago.
One "solution" sounds like mandating "Housemothers/fathers" or RAs for the fraternity houses. I wonder how that would work? Having a "political officer" who reports to the administration leaves a bad taste in my mouth. However, the idea of posting academic performance and ranking online, plus philanthropy activity AND chapter violations may have some merit. A time honored management principle is "you get what you measure". Keeping track of those types of metrics, and perhaps using them as a basis for a prestigious award, could be a powerful incentive. We all know how well that works for intramural sports and Homecoming activities.
What do you think? Is this a workable plan? here is a link to the University of Tennessee press release - you can get to the full report from there.
UT report: Put directors in frat houses | timesfreepress.com:

KNOXVILLE — A committee at the University of Tennessee has proposed remedies for rowdiness that made the campus the subject of late-night TV comedy.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the committee’s recommendations include full-time directors living in fraternity houses, amnesty for drunken students and their friends when seeking medical help and the online posting of sanctions against fraternities and sororities.
“Alcohol, for this age group, is and will continue to be our biggest issue. It is the root of most of our crimes,” said UT Police Chief Troy Lane. “There obviously was an issue that made us all kind of decide enough is enough. But we’re really not dealing with anything that any other college isn't dealing with.”
The 11-page report released Thursday comes nearly six months after a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity member was brought to UT Hospital dangerously drunk. Police reports blamed the incident on a wine enema, which garnered national attention. That chapter and, later, the Phi Gamma Delta chapter have shut down at UT.
The 25-member task force was formed to find solutions to poor behavior among fraternities. Members include the UT police chief, students, alumni, faculty and staff. The chairman is local attorney Thomas Hale. The group met about every other week to form its recommendations.
The group found that 14 fraternities were sanctioned 30 times in the last five years, tallying 68 violations that include alcohol abuse, physical abuse, hazing and nudity.
Some of the task force recommendations are immediately moving forward, including expanding the university’s Greek recognition system. In addition to online listing of fraternities’ and sororities’ cumulative grade point averages and philanthropy work, the information will now include chapter violations.
Jeff Cathey, associate dean of students, said the university expects at least some fraternities to move quickly to add live-in advisers.
Also among the task force recommendations is the adoption of new educational programs for fraternities and sororities on hazing, managing risk, substance abuse and the code of conduct. The group also wants to review how effective and consistent campus rule enforcement is.

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