The Daily Californian Online

Final Draft of Plan Recommends Future Goals for Greek System

By Heather Ross
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Category: News > University > Student Communities

A coordinating committee composed of fraternity and sorority members, Berkeley community members and alumni released a final draft Nov. 13 of a 10-year plan to guide Greek life on campus.

The plan, released as part of the UC Berkeley Fraternity and Sorority Life Strategic Planning Process, provides recommendations for curbing alcohol abuse and hazing, establishing a set of shared values for the Greek community, creating community support networks and developing leadership skills.

The plan also includes a framework for ensuring compliance and accountability for these goals within the community.

"In 2020 we will celebrate 150 years of Greek Life at Cal Berkeley and want this to continue well into the future," said Del Tacconi, strategic planning chair, in an e-mail. "A strategic plan charts the future for a community and provides guidance and benchmarks over the long-haul."

According to Grahaeme Hesp, campus director of fraternity and sorority life, public input has shaped the development of the plan through surveys, focus groups and responses on a blog that covers the project's progress.

The committee also hosted a town hall meeting Nov. 19, which was attended by approximately 50 students.

"A good part of the meeting was spent explaining the thought process behind the recommendations," said Anthony Wright, Interfraternity Council assistant risk management officer. "A lot of it came down to asking why (certain recommendations) were there."

A version of the plan will be circulated among the Greek community for discussion in the run-up to implementation next year. Until then, the plan is subject to comment and revision, including at a town hall meeting to be held after the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Campus Life and Leadership Web site.

According to the plan, many of the recommendations would require funding from the community in order to be implemented-such as financial support for emerging chapters-and require a live-in house director for all housed fraternities and sororities with 30 or more residents.

"The recommendations are generally well-intentioned, but impractical," Wright said. "For example, it would be difficult to find an alumni to live in-house. Most frats are not set up to handle that. (At the meeting) a lot of students brought up alternatives-graduate students or extensive training for undergraduates in the houses."

According to Hesp, in order to provide funding to meet these logistical challenges, the planning committee is asking for a $1.5 million alumni endowment. A one-time association fee for new members of the Greek community is being considered, he said.

"We received no programming funding from the university," he said. "So all these recommendations for new programs will have to be self-funded through fees or through some other source."

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