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Greek life, SAO get revamp

Greek life, SAO get revamp

The imminent hiring of a new administrator in charge of Greek life will be one among many shake-ups for fraternities and sororities. In recent weeks, the Greek community has seen noticeable changes to Greek Council’s constitution and Greek Week, its signature spring event, which pits Kenyon’s Greek organizations against one another in trivia and athletic contests and promotes charitable work.

On July 1, the Student Activities Office will become the Office of Student Engagement, and Director of Student Activities & Greek Life Laura Kane will become director of the new department. Since coming to Kenyon in 2014, Kane has been the primary administrative liaison for Greek life on campus.

In moving to her new role, which also becomes effective July 1, Kane will vacate her Greek life responsibilities, which an assistant director of student engagement will assume. Kane said the College has begun interviewing candidates remotely, and hopes to bring three qualified candidates to campus in May.   

Kane and Greek Council began examining Greek life policies at other schools, such as Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) and Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio) in the fall, and discovered most have Greek governing bodies with between five and seven officers. Kane and the Council’s executive committee concluded after an internal review that some of its officer positions were unnecessary. The Council’s delegates voted on March 28 to reduce its number of officers from 10 to six, in a vote that Greek Council President Greta Greising ’16 said was “very close to unanimous.” The responsibilities of the four cut positions will be consolidated with those of others for next year.

“I think it showed how organically the changes needed to happen,” Kane said of the restructuring process.

Brian Pragacz ’17, a brother of Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Tau) and the community service coordinator of Greek Council, said his position will be renamed outreach chair, along with the academic chair and alumni relations coordinator positions, roles held, respectively, by sophomores Toloue Kabiri and Peter Orlos.    

“I fully support this restructuring,” Pragacz said. “The current size of Greek Council is a bit unwieldy, and I hope that these changes will allow Greek Council to run efficiently, and do even more for the campus.” 

Pragacz, currently the president of Phi Tau, said he will not run for the new position because of his responsibilities within his own organization.  The Council will elect next year’s leadership at its Monday meeting.   

Greek Council also chose to change the format of its annual social event from “Greek Week” to “Greek Weekend,” primarily so the event would be more convenient for Greeks and shorter in length, according to Kane. Kane said the Greek Weekend event with the most enthusiastic turnout was trivia on Thursday night.

“It seemed like people really enjoyed the community-building aspect,” Kane said.

Greising said attendance at Greek Weekend programming later in the week was not  as high as she had hoped. She attributed this to good weather and a number of sports events  which attracted students over the weekend.

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