SLG response to Duke admin

guest column

On August 30th, leaders of the SLG community learned that our recruiting and interest processes would be prohibited for the year. Some SLGs did not even receive this news from administration directly, but through screenshots from others. We are therefore extremely disappointed by the lack of transparency and communication from administration regarding our processes. This decision came long after repeated approval and encouragement from HRL to plan a safe and fun recruitment this fall. SOFC and DSG also have made it clear that they were not informed of the status of recruitment and are now scrambling to help SLGs find solutions to allow our organizations to continue to exist. We are saddened to have to cancel our upcoming open house, scheduled for Sunday, especially since we had already gained approval for the event through Duke’s Event Services. We want to emphasize that this information should have been communicated to us months ago. Instead, we were caught completely by surprise, having already put time and care into planning our recruitment processes and aligning them with administration rules. 

We believe that SLGs provide Duke students with a newfound community and serve as a helpful alternative to Greek life, and we have already heard from many students who were thinking of joining our groups this semester. To diminish this source of community at all is disheartening; to diminish it sooner than we had expected is even more so. We are still SLGs for one more year, according to administration, and we deserve to retain our processes, including the ability to recruit. Several SLGs made the explicit decision to remain completely on campus based on the promises of administration to give us a full last year and help us with the transition out of SLG status. In addition, SLGs that chose to have a section were under the impression that they could use their space for recruitment and build their community as before. SLGs must be given a clear path forward in order to continue to exist on campus and as of now we have been presented with no real options. We are passionate about our respective communities and wish for them to exist long after our time at Duke has come to a close, even without having specific housing sections. We are hopeful to keep those interested in joining our organizations up to date and as informed as possible throughout this process, despite our leadership feeling out of the loop due to the lack of communication from Duke’s administration.

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