In a shocking move that defies a unanimous Campus Council resolution and erases a long-standing feature of residential life, Residence Life and Housing Services Director Eddie Hull has completely eliminated annual review for the immediate future. Annual review is the process by which selective living groups are evaluated on their contribution to the residential community.
Campus Council President Anthony Vitarelli, who chaired a committee that proposed a reform of annual review last fall, said he was extremely disappointed by both the substance of Hull's decision and his office's communication.
"The lack of communication from [RLHS] has been shameful," Vitarelli said. "Selectives should be upset because they've planned a semester's worth of activities under faulty assumptions. Unaffiliated students should be upset because selective living groups do not have to justify the amenities they receive this semester. I'm personally disappointed that a group of students dedicated two months of their time to thoroughly reviewing the process this semester and their recommendations were discarded."
Hull confirmed his decision but declined to explain his rationale to The Chronicle.
The proposed reformation of annual review would have created positive financial incentives for outstanding contributions to the residential community and would have enabled groups to complete programming in four out of seven areas, instead of each of six areas. Campus Council unanimously approved the reform Oct. 30, 2003, though not without considerable debate and consternation about some of the proposal's provisions.
A sticky point from the beginning, and potentially one of the reasons Hull axed annual review, was the role of an eighth pseudo-category: citizenship. Citizenship was measured under the former annual review system but was primarily used as a way to dock groups when members acted up, Vitarelli said. The proposed reform would have used citizenship as a "swing factor" in both positive and negative directions.
Now, however, with no motivation to complete programming except for national requirements in some cases and their own goodwill, Vitarelli said little will be done by selective groups in the way of positive contributions to the residential community. "I would anticipate selective living groups fulfilling the requirements of the current system--which, as it stands, are zero," he said. "Surely, groups will continue to do some programming, but I anticipate a notable drop-off."
An ad-hoc RLHS selective house review process may be taking place in the meantime, as evidenced by the relocation of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity to Edens Quadrangle beginning next year. Delta Sig reportedly ran into conflict with nearby Sigma Nu fraternity, also located in Kilgo Quadrangle.
"Clearly, that's been an explosive relationship since the groups moved next to each other," Vitarelli said. "There was a lack of foresight in situating those groups so closely."
Delta Sig will move to Edens 1C, and Sigma Nu will occupy a different set of rooms within Kilgo Quad.
"Obviously its a handful to have two fraternities in the same quad," said Andrew Axlerod, president of Sigma Nu. "I believe we're just being shifted around, we're going to occupy the whole basement and the first floor. That's basically the extent of our shift.
"I think it will be better for the whole quad environment not having two fraternities stuck on top of another," Axlerod added. "The whole quad environment will hopefully improve. I don't think there's anything negative going on [between Sigma Nu and Delta Sig]; it's been generally well."
Officers from Delta Sig could not be reached for comment.
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