Letter to the Editor: The State of the Experience, Two Years Later

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Two years ago, the IFC presidents crafted a letter raising their concerns over the increasing subjectivity and micromanagement of the DePauw administration. We, the current IFC Council and Presidents, now find ourselves writing a letter of reiteration due not only to the administration’s inability to change, but more so to the continuous increase of constraint and censorship of Greek life and the campus climate as a whole. The repercussions have continued to decrease campus morale, dilute the trust between students and the administration, and erode an institution both central to the history and critical to the future of DePauw. The resulting campus climate has led to the ongoing trend of current undergraduates advising prospective students not to attend the university, which has intensified the current unsustainable downturn in enrollment.

The concerns of the Greek organizations have been dismissed without consideration over recent years, coinciding with an alarming rollback in student and council autonomy. A culture that was once cultivated by ethical and social growth outside of the classroom has been replaced with strict micromanagement and reprimands that oppose the notion of “Uncommon Success.” This hinders the development of a robust co-curricular experience.

While we understand changes were necessary to prevent the presence of a dangerous drinking culture on campus, policies have been enacted without intimate knowledge of the targeted matter or regard for long-term campus climate implications. Organizational leaderships have been more than willing to work with the university to create progressive policies that move toward a safer environment as stated by the letter of two years ago; but rather, the university opted for a punitive, authoritative approach in handling the student body. Our chapters and students understand and agree that reprimands are justified when rules aren’t followed; however, the short-sighted policies of the last two years are too stringent to reasonably expect full compliance. In addition, when punishments are warranted, investigations are conducted with subjectivity, poor timeliness, deception and what can best be described as a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality. Most importantly, at the direction of the administration, DePauw Police has become unwarranted and unjustified in their actions – their presence has inspired paranoia rather than protection.

Change is not only demanded, but necessary. This letter is our olive branch to the school administration; to meet, to discuss, to collaborate, to create change that will make students once again proud to call DePauw their school.

To All students, parents, alumni, and trustees: We humbly request your support in our mission to guide this campus towards a brighter, more prosperous future. Help hold the university accountable to working with us, as the history of disregarding student voices is prolonged.

Sincerely,

Colin Donahue, President of Alpha Tau Omega

Alexander Guest, President of Beta Theta Pi

Jalen Friendly, President of Delta Tau Delta

Paulo Aco, President of Delta Upsilon

Nick Redwine, President of Phi Delta Theta

Da’Jeal Partee, President of Phi Gamma Delta

Connor Wallace, President of Phi Kappa Psi

Aaron Rector, President of Sigma Chi

Reid Leber, President of Sigma Nu

Andrew St. John, Interfraternity Council, President

Ben Higgins, Interfraternity Council, Executive Vice President

Nicholas Baxter, Interfraternity Council, VP of Administration

Cam Haynes, Interfraternity Council, VP of Community Standards

Will Reid, Interfraternity Council, VP of Community Engagement

Bronson Rago, Interfraternity Council, VP of Recruitment

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