The role of Student Government Greek Life Committee may be shifting after last year’s upheaval

Student+Government+Greek+Life+Committee+leader+Hank+Scheffler+22+noted+that+despite+his+affiliated+status%2C+he+plans+to+govern+with+the+interest+of+non-affiliated+and+affiliated+members+in+mind.+%28Photo+by+Caroline+Burns+23%29

Student Government Greek Life Committee leader Hank Scheffler ’22 noted that despite his affiliated status, he plans to govern with the interest of non-affiliated and affiliated members in mind. (Photo by Caroline Burns ’23)

Brenna Girard

Reevaluating its direction, the Greek Life Committee of Student Government is considering switching its name to “Student Involvement” in an attempt to expand its scope. While the notion is still in its early stages and remains in question, it coincides with Student Government’s push towards increased inclusivity and engagement. 

“We have talked about possibly changing the name to student involvement to ensure that there are more activities and other initiatives that include the student body as a whole,” Student Government President Flor De Maria Caceres Godoy ‘22 said. 

“We intend to shift the narrative from Greek Life to Student Involvement, even changing our bylaws to signify the importance of the new name,” Greek Life Committee Director and Delta Kappa Epsilon President Hank Scheffler ‘22 said. “I believe that Student Government resources could be shifted somewhere and that a committee dedicated to all students as opposed to a select group would benefit the campus more.”

The current Greek Life Committee is composed of seven members, half of whom are unaffiliated with Greek life on campus. With independent institutions such as the Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council already in place for the governance of Greek life, expanding the scope of the committee would relieve some student government pressure on these institutions while including more students in campus decision-making.

“As a member of Greek life and Student Government, it’s evident that there is not much that Student Government can do to support Greek Life that the infrastructure of Greek Life does not already provide,” Scheffler said.

“Many folks such as [Scheffler] and myself are looking forward to expanding these events and projects to the greater Lafayette community,” Caceres said.

This motion towards wider engagement runs parallel to the overall Student Government’s efforts to reevaluate its restrictive rules. Such rules came into question during the election for Greek life committee director between incumbent Lauren Ameruoso ‘22 and Scheffler this past spring. Ameruoso’s lack of affiliation with a Greek life organization led to the revision of a previous Student Government rule, eventually modified so that she could run as an unaffiliated candidate. Though Scheffler won, this change was merely the start of what appears to be a thorough reevaluation of Student Government bylaws continuing this fall.

After his victory, Scheffler emphasized the same value being discussed this fall: there shouldn’t be a difference between affiliated and non-affiliated students. To promote this idea, he clarified his goals of addressing campus-wide polarized perceptions of Greek life as well as its service and accountability.

“Being a member of Greek life has only aided my current work on Student Government,” Scheffler said. “Greek life is obviously criticized, and for viable reasons, but at its core, it is an institution based on creating support and love for others and that is the role it has played on Lafayette’s campus for me.”

Caceres remarked that the election has since prompted herself and others to look into the Student Government constitution, and “see if we can change any of these rules or requirements” in order to promote further inclusivity.  

Attention has additionally been drawn to the requirement that in order for students to serve as a director they must be previously involved in Student Government. Ultimately, Caceres said that she does not want students to “feel limited or restricted by our structure.”