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Annual review examined

Annual review, the process by which fraternities and other selective living groups are evaluated on programming and citizenship, will be overhauled this September and October by a committee headed by Campus Council President Anthony Vitarelli.

 Vitarelli said the committee will operate with two primary goals in mind: to add more positive incentives and to simplify the process. Regardless of the final recommendations to Residential Life and Housing Services Director Eddie Hull, Vitarelli said his committee will not hesitate to make wholesale changes to what he views as a process in disrepair.

 "Annual review is an inherently flawed system," Vitarelli said. "We're going to pretend like we're starting from scratch."

 Assistant Dean of Students for Greek Life Todd Adams said it was particularly appropriate to revisit annual review now because of a new residential model that offers increasingly horizontal sections for selective living groups and an emphasis on quad-based programming. Positive incentives, the crux of Vitarelli's proposed revisions, are viewed by some as necessary to encourage selective living groups to go beyond the bare minimum of programming requirements.

 "We don't have anything to promote a group that is doing great things and encourage them to continue to do great things," Adams said. "Anything we can do to promote the student groups to do more than just the bare minimum would be a great positive."

 Vitarelli, a member of Wayne Manor, said incentives could take the form of financial prizes to selective living groups that receive a "good" or better rating, or of awarding higher section picks to groups with consistently superb ratings in annual review.

 "It should certainly be a consideration that if a group achieves an outstanding [rating] every semester and is adding value to [its] community, [it] should receive better housing picks than an organization that's just sliding by," Vitarelli said.

 Many students, such as Kappa Alpha Order President Carlton Fleming, have objected to the fact that all selective living groups--despite having disparate goals and activities--are evaluated by the same six programming categories. Some are more service-oriented, for example, while others fill a social void.

 "We are trying to apply a uniform system to completely different groups that have different missions," Vitarelli said of the current annual review. "We shouldn't be requiring Round Table to throw three parties a semester as part of social programming."

 The members of the committee have not yet been chosen, and Hull has requested that a plan be submitted to his office by Oct. 15. Changes must be approved by RLHS, Vitarelli said, before going into effect next fall.

 Despite the efforts to reform annual review, some said they think the process is beyond repair and should simply be scrapped.

 "There's no reason that selective living groups should have to jump through hoops that independents don't have to," Fleming said. "Most other schools don't do anything even resembling this system. I think it's great when organizations can get out and do Habitat for Humanity or work at the Durham Food Bank, but I don't think you should force people to do that, because it ruins the whole spirit of community service and volunteerism."


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