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Greek office adds assistant dean to staff

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life now has a Greek affiliate of its own to act as a liaison between national and Duke chapters.

Clarybel Peguero, a Sigma Gamma Rho at Syracuse University, has been hired as the new assistant dean of students and director of fraternity and sorority life, Chris Heltne, director of communications for the Office of Student Affairs, announced Thursday.

Associate Dean of Students Todd Adams, who interviewed Peguero, said she is an advocate for students and administrators involved in the current system of Greek life.

She chaired her university's Greek Judicial Board as an undergraduate and continued to hold Greek positions as SGRho's chapter adviser at the University of Virginia.

"[Peguero] is still active within her [Greek] organization," Adams said. "I do think that helps. It gives her another lens from which to view the community without trying to hold it to her own perceptions but having some background and experience, as well."

Peguero, who has served as the assistant dean of students at American University, Johns Hopkins University, Boston College as well as the University of Virginia, said she plans to enhance the role academic excellence plays in Greek life and publicize Greek community service opportunities.

"We work really hard to acknowledge those chapters that are doing very well academically, and we work very hard to work with chapters that aren't," she said. "We are also encouraging students to share what they are doing to uplift their community."

Peguero said she has yet to evaluate the 37 various chapters at Duke and their specific needs, but she said she will work with students who are dynamic leaders and plans to bring out the values that their organizations have instilled in them through philanthropic efforts and empowerment sessions.

She added that she will work on the chartering of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 2009 and Sigma Pi in 2011, as well as look into inquiries from the Inter-Greek Council to charter culturally based sororities and fraternities.

"There are some talks of interest groups going on and obviously expansion is the biggest thing for our council," said IGC President Paul Youm, a junior and member of Lambda Phi Epsilon.

Adams said he hopes fraternities and sororities will continue to show how they contribute to the mission of the University and find ways to showcase their attributes. He added that Peguero will enhance the undergraduate Greek experience.

"I'm sure that she'll spend a good part of her first semester viewing the landscape and determining from there and after conversations from the constituents about what needs must be addressed and how to best [fulfill] them," he said.

Although Peguero has only been at Duke a short time, she said she is certain her experience working with Greek organizations will help familiarize her with the University's Greek community and expand her position's productivity.

"The Greek experience truly enhances your college experience by giving you leadership skills, a huge network of people you can work with and rely on and a priceless brotherhood or sisterhood," Peguero said.


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