At the beginning of this month Greek Council announced it would be reviewing and revising its constitution.
Greek Council has established a subcommittee to oversee the rewriting of its constitution, the document that governs Kenyon’s Greek life. As the body that establishes standards for Greek organizations across campus — including fraternities, sororities and co-ed organization the Archon Society — the Council’s decision follows a rush week in which 30 more first years and underclassmen expressed their interest in Greek life than last year.
The constitution dictates many procedures, according to Greek Council President Greta Greising ’16. It serves as a guideline for running meetings, a way to keep track of organizational statuses, procedures for the Council itself and for other organizations, and provides guidelines for rush and hazing policies.
“A lot of the parts of the constitution are nonsensical,” Greising said. Though Greising, a sister of Zeta Alpha Pi (Zetas), was not a member of Greek Council last spring, she indicated that the inability of the body to govern efficiently because of the constitution has been an issue in the past. “We had a lot of proposals that came through last spring that took a lot of time to pass, and it wasn’t clear how they could get passed,” Greising said.
Phi Kappa Sigma’s (Phi Kaps) proposal in the fall to change their organizational status from a national to a local chapter was unprecedented.
“We need a more laid-out process in the constitution, and the Phi Kap amendment shed light on this need,” Greising said.
Anna Garnitz ’16, a sister of Epsilon Delta Mu (EDM) and delegate to Greek Council, as well as Gray Clark ’17, Greek Council’s risk management chair and brother of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), echoed Greising’s critique of the current constitution’s ambiguity.
Clark said there is some confusion as to the purpose and actual impact of Greek Council on campus. “Hopefully it will make Greek Council … more of a presence on campus,” Clark said.
Garnitz explained, that the role of Greek Council is to unify the Greek community campus-wide. “It’s definitely responsible for a lot of the mutual work that’s done on campu,” Garnitz said. Both Clark and Garnitz are working together with the committee on the constitution’s treatment of Title IX, a policy that prohibits discrimination based on gender, in light of the recent changes on college campuses nationally.
Garnitz said Title IX training is strongly suggested, but not required for party training, which is required for any Greek helping to host their organization’s events with alcohol. Garnitz added that she thinks Title IX training would help.
Since the committee is still in its infancy, input from the administration has been limited, though Greising said Laura Kane, director of student activities and Greek life and advisor to Greek Council, will be part of the process.
Ultimately, the rewriting signals a reflection among members of the Council to bolster Greek Life as a positive presence on campus. “It’s a very good idea if we do want to effect a larger part of this campus to make sure we know what our statement is,” Clark said, “to really sit down and look at ourselves, and think ‘What are we doing?’ and ‘What should we be doing?’”