Zonia Moore / The Dartmouth Staff
The Greek Leadership Council is spearheading a vote on Tuesday to enact a new policy that will provide guidelines for Greek organization sanctions addressing assault cases. The policy requires a majority vote of 50 percent plus one vote from all Greek chapter presidents under the GLC umbrella.
The proposed policy will provide Greek organizations with baseline criteria to adhere to, but it will not replace the established internal procedures at each organization, GLC moderator Duncan Hall '13 said. Individual Greek organizations will be able to add to the policy through their own individual procedures.
The new policy, if voted into effect, will ensure that Greek organizations comply through funding stipulations.
"Part of the privilege of being in the GLC is receiving GLC funding," Hall said. "So if this is passed, if you are not complying with the Greek standards, then you don't get the Greek benefits."
When drafting the new policy, committee leaders were concerned about creating a policy that did not "overshadow" the Panhellenic Council's existing informal policy on assault, Greek Letter Organizations and Societies director Wes Schaub said. In the spring of 2011, the Panhellenic Council voted unanimously to collectively suspend events with a Greek organization where assault had occurred if that organization failed to launch formal adjudication procedures within 24 hours of notification.
While there is potential for the existing Panhellenic policy and the new proposed GLC policy to work together, they will be implemented through different channels if the GLC policy passes, Panhellenic Council president Sarah Wildes '13 said.
The proposed assault policy is an attempt at a comprehensive policy.
"They decided to look at the entire issue of assault and how can we accomplish a number of different things under one policy instead of creating all these different pieces of a policy," Schaub said.
The policy was drafted by members of all five GLC sub-councils the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Coed Council, National Association of Latino/a Fraternal Organizations and National Panhellenic Counil, GLC spokesperson Ali Essey '13 said in an email.
Despite the administration's heightened scrutiny of Greek organizations, Hall said the policy is a student-led initiative that will function as an additional level of sanctions on those already in place in individual organizations.
GLC's current policy requires all new Greek members to participate in a Mentors Against Violence facilitation program. Individual Greek organizations also have internal adjudication procedures that they use to deal with cases of misconduct including assault.
GLC's proposed policy will hold Greek organizations accountable for internal adjudication procedures and recommend sanctions for assault, Psi Upsilon fraternity president Christian Sherrill '13 said.
"I think any steps that hold organizations accountable for the actions of their members and give them some teeth in that regard is inevitably effective," he said.
A special committee of six Greek leaders, selected by Hall out of nominees appointed by the five sub-councils under GLC, began drafting the policy this term. The committee comprises of male and female members and includes representatives from local and national fraternities and sororities as well as coed houses, Wildes said.
Members of Greek houses who are tasked with judging and implementing sanctions do not always hold their fellow members accountable, Sherrill said. Their bias is "perpetuated by the weakness in the existing system," he said.
The proposed policy will address reluctant Greek organizations and differences in adjudication systems by providing guidelines for sanctions against cases of assault.
Anna Fagin '13, vice president of the Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault, said that student-led initiatives to prevent assault are important for implementing change on campus.
"I think that student initiative is always a good thing," Fagin said. "Students taking ownership of their own organizations and experiences is fantastic."
Leaders of the SPCSA act as intermediaries between the administration and student body, gathering feedback from the administration on behalf of students and relaying student opinion on sexual assault issues to the administration.
SPCSA is independent of to GLOS and did not play a role in bringing about the proposed policy change.
The proposed assault policy is one of three issues GLC began considering to revamp in the spring. Binge drinking and hazing will also be considered, Wildes said. If the policy fails to pass, GLC will revise it and conduct further research on assault.
While GLC leaders review existing assault policies annually and consider policies to strengthen those in place, the policy under consideration this Tuesday is a new and more comprehensive proposal.