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IFC begins internal reviews

The Interfraternity Council has created an interim replacement for annual review, the now-defunct process by which selective living groups were evaluated on their contributions to the residential community.


The fraternity-only review is roughly based on a revised, Campus Council-approved process that Residence Life and Housing Services Director Eddie Hull discarded last week when he deemed it inappropriate for his quadrangle-based housing model.


Outgoing IFC President Brett Green said fraternities sought to re-establish a review to encourage group programming and to maintain a record of fraternities' contributions to the community.


While the IFC review will have no official bearing on groups' housing, Green said the IFC wanted to show the University why groups deserve the housing and amenities they receive.


"I think it's important, with a new [Duke presidential] administration coming in next fall, for us to have something to turn to to say, 'This is what we're doing on campus; this is why we're important,'" he said. "To just say that in a letter or something isn't as effective."


Both Green and incoming IFC President Will Connolly said they believed fraternity programming would have continued with or without a periodic review. Green added, however, that groups might attempt a broader range of programming with a review in place.


Hull eliminated annual review after asking an ad-hoc student committee to examine it last fall. The committee's revised annual review would have created positive financial incentives for outstanding contributions to the residential community and enabled groups to complete programming in four out of seven areas--such as faculty interaction and cultural programming--instead of each of the six areas that existed under the old annual review. Campus Council unanimously approved the revised process Oct. 30, 2003, after considerable debate.


The differences between the Campus Council-approved review and the IFC review are mostly structural. Categories are divided into "fraternal values" and "University relations," with programming required in three of the former and two of the latter. Fraternal values categories are defined as community service, educational programming, member-led development and social; University relations categories are faculty and staff interaction, greek interaction, leadership and quad interaction. <Notably, the IFC review does not mention citizenship, which had been a point of debate in both previous iterations of annual review.


Campus Council President Anthony Vitarelli, who chaired the committee that revised annual review and has been a vocal opponent of its demise, said he was thrilled by the IFC review. "I think it's fantastic that they've voluntarily organized themselves to benefit the entire Duke community," he said. "I laud them for their initiative."


Green acknowledged that some people might view the internal fraternity review process as somehow less strict than the administration-sponsored one, but said that IFC was pursuing its best option.


"You would kind of think, 'You guys are doing it internally; you're going to be easier on them,' that could be one of the criticisms, but at the same time, we didn't really have a choice," Green said. "We could have done nothing, and that would have been a lot easier on frats."


Assistant Dean for Greek Life Todd Adams said he was extremely proud of the IFC for establishing its review and claimed the move did not undermine RLHS's cancellation of annual review. The administration will have representation on the committee that evaluates the review, along with the IFC vice president for chapter services, one faculty member, one non-IFC greek student and three fraternity representatives appointed by the IFC vice president for chapter services.


Other selective living groups, such as Mirecourt and Round Table, are not covered under the IFC review. Green said this was because their involvement would require Campus Council approval, which might be a lengthy process and might prevent the review's application for this spring. Vitarelli said he hoped all selective living groups would eventually subscribe to the review. National Panehellenic Council groups are also not covered under the IFC review.


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