Kristina Smithy ’14
Trinity College has made major changes to Trinity’s Greek Life system. Much of Trinity’s faculty would like to see the Greek system completely abolished however for now they are just going to strictly regulate them. 76 percent of the faculty favored abolition Greek life, 17 percent favored reform, 2 percent favored to leave it as it is and 3 percent had no opinion on the matter. Four of the twelve voting members on the Charter Committee argued for the abolition of fraternities and sororities at Trinity. Two of the new restrictions placed on Greek life are making each organization become co-educational and require a minimum GPA. The Charter Committee decided on the co-educational system after an eleven-to-one vote in favor of the matter.
During the fall of 2012 organizations must begin planning for a co-educational membership and submit plans to the Implementation Committee. By the spring of 2013 organizations must being recruiting a co-ed pledge class. By October of 2014 there must be a total of 15 percent of the minority gender in the organization. By October 2015 the minority gender must be at or larger than 30 percent and by October 2016 it must be roughly 50/50. The Board of Trustees has also determined that there will be no pledging period once the new members rush. If the organization fails to meet these standards they will be subject to become prohibited.
The committee believes that the combined GPA of the Greek system is lower than the average of the school and is bringing down our academic standard. By the spring of 2013 the prospective members must have a 3.0 or better to rush. By the fall of 2014, the prospective members must have at least a 3.2. Failure to meet these standards will result in a warning and then have one semester to fix the problem.
Each organization must also have a faculty or staff adviser. Each group must supply the College with an up-to-date membership list at the beginning of each semester. Over the course of Spring 2013, members of the Implementation Committee will need to outline the objectives and expectations of each fraternity and sorority. They will also help them develop plans for making the changes necessary.
Organizations that are responsible for a serious infraction of the College’s policy will be subject to prohibited status. If an organization that privately owns property becomes prohibited, the College will buy the property and reassign it to another organization. Students who participate in prohibited organization will be subject to separation from the school.
The College and the Charter Committee will hopes that these changes will lead to three major outcomes. They hope that all social organization will have an open, transparent membership and equal and fair access to all resources. The membership must be open without regard for gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, or any other identification. Lastly, all Trinity students will have equal access to membership in organizations and that the membership will be based on student interest alone. Hazing and blackballing will be prohibited and grounds for judicial proceedings.