Faculty ponders Greek Life

By Brett Billings & Anda Totoreanu

Photo by Nicole Maselli/ The Lafayette

This weekend, President Weiss will present to the Board of Trustees information gathered from the faculty regarding their views on Greek life. Above, a group of Greek life members participate in Greek Week activities on March Field.
This weekend, President Weiss will present to the Board of Trustees information gathered from the faculty regarding their views on Greek life. Above, a group of Greek life members participate in Greek Week activities on March Field.

As Lafayette prepares for the Board of Trustees meeting that may decide the future of Greek life on campus, faculty are keeping their own counsel on the matter.

Of the over 20 professors contacted for this article, few were willing to speak openly— most not at all.

Two meetings have been called by Weiss. At a gathering last Thursday, considered confidential by Weiss, the Working Group’s Report was the topic of conversation. This meeting was announced immediately following Fall Break, with little notification to faculty members.

When asked why the meeting was confidential, Weiss responded that “the faculty and administration have matters to discuss that sometimes require confidentiality.”

“Not everything that goes on in a college campus is for a newspaper,” Weiss said.

This weekend, according to the Chair of the Working Group on Greek Life and Trustee Barbara Levy ‘77, President Daniel H. Weiss will present to the trustees information gathered from the faculty.

Though the turnout to the Thursday meeting was small, Faculty Academic Policy committee member and Berman Professor of Religious Studies Robert Cohn, felt that “a lot of faculty opinion was expressed” at both meetings.

“I’ve heard that some faculty, perhaps not a majority, think that the Greek system is bad for the college, and bad for the students, and would like to see it gone,” Professor of Government and Law Josh Miller wrote in an email. The option to eliminate the Greek system at Lafayette was never a component of the report.

According to Cohn, some faculty spent a lot of time and energy focused on revising the tenure system or the Common Course of Study, or perhaps just failed to realize what the Working Group was crafting.Faculty began voicing their concerns after the report’s release in May. According to Miller and Cohn, few faculty members attended meetings or articulated their opinions before then.

“As I understand it, only a few faculty members were included in drafting the report,” Miller wrote. “So of course, more are speaking out now that it’s public.”

According to Levy, on Saturday, the trustees will vote on the administrative response to the recommendations and what resources may be needed to put those into action.