On Sept. 29, Student Development sent out an email regarding the creation of a new Greek Life Task Force. The email specified that Albion College’s President Mathew Johnson set expectations for the relationship between Greek Life organizations and the college, including recommendations for how different aspects of Greek Life should work.
The Greek Life Task Force is led by two chairs, Kristen Sarniak, assistant director for Greek Life and Drew Coleman, chapter advisor for Sigma Chi. In addition, the task force will include ten other staff, faculty and chapter advisors. As far as student representation, the task force will include two active fraternity members, two active sorority members and two non-Greek members.
“The Greek Life Task Force will be doing a holistic study on the function of sorority and fraternity life on campus,” said Sarniak. “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things, so we thought it was important that with that, we had a lot of representation from different areas on campus.”
The task force will meet as needed to cover a range of topics. These include, but are not limited to: the statement of the relationship; new fraternity housing ; a Blueprint for Belonging; education and awareness on mental health and wellness; alcohol and other substance education and awareness; interpersonal violence education and awareness; moving from charity to more partnered philanthropic efforts; and creating a Greek life strategic plan, as listed in the email from Dean of Students Leroy Wright in September.
Although these items will be discussed at length by the Greek Life Task Force, Sarniak said she does not want the discussions to be limited to just the task force group. She hopes all students on campus will have a voice in these conversations.
“I don’t want this to feel like just six people from the student body are making decisions. I do want to be open to students in some way shape or form,” said Sarniak. “Whether that’s coming to the meetings, responding to a survey or sending an email to somebody just to speak on their behalf. I don’t want people to feel like it’s an exclusive thing where only certain students can participate.”
Surveys regarding the Greek life experience are sent to the student body to be inclusive.
“It’s open to all students who want to fill it out, and it’s basically just, ‘Describe your experience with fraternity and sorority life on campus,’” said Sarniak. “That’s hopefully going to really give us an idea of where we need to prioritize our tasks.”
A member of the Task Force representing the sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, is eager for the new opportunity.
“I want to help our community make a change, make people more aware of what’s going on,” said Jade Patel, a sophomore from Saginaw.