Late last semester, nine of the 10 positions on Greek Council’s executive board were filled after elections were held. The communications chair remains vacant due to a rule limiting any one organization from having more than two representatives on the board; the organization is still in the process of resolving this.
Juniors Colton Smith of Phi Sigma Chi and Isa Medina of Sigma Theta Tau will serve as the men’s chair and the women’s chair, respectively. Sophomore David Migl of Chi Delta Tau will serve as men’s recruitment chair, and junior Emily Peter of Alpha Chi Lambda will serve as women’s recruitment chair.
Sophomore Jess Jennings of Alpha Chi Lambda will serve as the organization’s first-ever diversity chair. Junior Anika Jensen of Gamma Chi Delta will serve as standards chair, junior Ruthie Rubin of Sigma Theta Tau will serve as service chair, junior Erica Mundinger of SPURS will serve as treasurer and junior Sarah Hantak of Gamma Chi Delta will serve as risk management and judicial chair.
These students compose the governing body for sororities and fraternities on Trinity’s campus. Jeremy Allen, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, is excited to welcome this new group of students onto the Greek Council executive board.
“We have a lot of different talents and backgrounds and organizations represented,” Allen said. “I’m really excited to see them come in with new ideas and a fresh look at things. Our current Greek Council has done a really good job of building up a lot of really purposeful programming. I’m excited to see this Greek Council continue that.”
Medina, a junior mathematical finance and economics double major, ran for women’s chair on Greek council after holding leadership positions within Sigma Theta Tau.
“I felt that I could bring my skills and level of commitment to Greek Council to impact a larger group of people,” Medina wrote in an email interview. “I think one area that needs improvement at Trinity is the relationship between students in Greek life and students who are not in Greek life. It is Greek Council’s job to help create a positive atmosphere surrounding Greek life at Trinity, and I hope to improve the relationship between Greek life and students who are not in Greek life.”
Jennings, a sophomore urban studies major, hopes to establish a network for collaboration between Greek life and other student organizations for diversity-focused initiatives. (Jennings was a sports reporter for the Trinitonian in the fall of 2017.)
“When I learned that they were creating a new position to focus on diversity, I decided it was something I definitely wanted to go for,” Jennings wrote in an email interview. “I’m excited for the opportunity to create diversity focused initiatives within Greek life and also to establish some relationships between Greek life and other diversity-focused groups on campus. I think that this kind of focus is extremely important, and I jumped at the idea of being able to pioneer this position into something I think will be really beneficial to our student body.”
When asked about the vacant position, Allen explained that the situation is uncommon and that they are working toward a resolution.
“It happened to work out this year that the people running for the communications chair position were from organizations that already had two representatives,” Allen said. “We’re going to reopen elections for that position. It can’t be filled by an Alpha Chi, a Sigma or a Gamma.”
In a follow-up email interview, Allen mentioned that the vacancy of this specific position has to do with the way that the voting system works.
“Each voting member received a certain amount of votes to allocate to their preferred candidates — no more than one vote per candidate,” Allen wrote. “Once all votes were cast, we tallied the total amounts received for each candidate. The highest overall recipient of votes was given their first choice of positions for which they applied, the next highest was given their preference of remaining positions, and so forth.”
Allen then explained that once two members of an organization had chosen their position, all remaining candidates were removed from that position. When it was time to vote for communications chair, the only candidates were from organizations that had already reached the two-member maximum.
The intent of this two-member maximum is to ensure that Greek Council is not run by a select few organizations.
“If you had no limit, a handful of larger organizations could potentially overwhelm the ballots and take control of policy-making, oversight, etc.,” Allen wrote. “This way, as many organizations as possible, including the smaller organizations, have a chance to have a seat at the table. The entire community deserves the chance to have their voice heard.”
The decision has been made to wait to resolve the issue until Bid Day, when students invited to join a sorority or fraternity decide whether to accept membership in Greek life.
“This is a busy time for the community anyway,” Allen wrote. “We’d rather afford the appropriate time to promote the position, collect qualified candidates and hold meaningful elections, rather than rush haphazardly to simply get the position filled by an arbitrary date.”
Some members of Greek life are torn between the benefits and disadvantages of the bylaw. Jensen, a junior accounting major and newly elected standards chair, expressed her thoughts on the situation.
“I think the communications situation is tricky, because on one hand I don’t think we should disregard a candidate just because their organization already has two members on the council,” Jensen wrote in an email interview. “If they’re the best person for that position out of the people available, they should be able to hold that job regardless. On the other hand, Greek Council is supposed to encompass all of Greek life, so you want representation from all organizations.”
The new members of the Greek Council executive board will officially transition into their roles on Feb. 2, 2018.