The Daily Californian Online

Final Draft of Campus Greek Development Plan Dicussed

By Sara Johnson
Contributing Writer
Monday, February 22, 2010
Category: News > University > Student Communities

The campus Greek community discussed Saturday a final draft of a 10-year development plan that includes intentionally "vague" provisions that have yet to be fully determined.

In its 37 provisions for the community, the current plan ranges from recommending limits on alcohol consumption to improving relations with city residents. The plan also called for the establishment of an All Greek Conduct Board by spring 2011 to hold student conduct hearings for members of the Greek community under the auspices of the campus Code of Student Conduct, said Grahaeme Hesp, campus director of fraternity and sorority life.

According to the plan, the first step would be to create a Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the 37 points.

A town hall discussion Saturday focused on the logistics of implementing the UC Berkeley Fraternity and Sorority Strategic Plan: 2020 Vision.

More than a year was spent preparing the plan, which currently outlines 37 points based on governance and accountability, growth, leadership, measures of success, safety, support and values.

Hesp said the plan is set to be finalized after final comments are received this Friday.

"The plan really addresses moving forward, promoting values, increasing recruitment," said Anthony Wright, the community relations and life-safety liaison for the office of fraternity and sorority life.

The plan mandates the creation of a $1.5 million "leadership development endowment" by 2020 to be used for regional Greek conferences, leadership retreats and other learning opportunities, according to Jeremiha Douglas, president of the Interfraternity Council.

Over the course of the revision process, the plan has "switched to a voluntary or participatory model as opposed to an obligatory model," Wright said.

Hesp said that some of the points are intentionally vague, allowing the committee greater control over the implementation. He said that the committee will "decide consequences from noncompliance" of the plan.

Douglas said the language was changed due to student feedback.

"They didn't really want to see a strategic plan with things forced upon them," he said. "Students were concerned, 'Well, what happens if we don't?'"

Members of the community expressed concern Saturday about the committee's ability to exert influence over the four existing Greek councils in order to enforce the provisions of the plan.

Campus fraternities have been brought under recent scrutiny due to a pending class-action lawsuit brought by 12 community households. Although Louis Garcia, the attorney for the plaintiffs, had not yet seen the plan, he said a plan was not sufficient.

"Recommendations are great, but putting the measures into practice is what brings about accountability," Garcia said.

Douglas said the plan addresses many of the lawsuit's objections.

"We recognize the issues, and we are working to solve them," he said.

The lawsuit calls for the requirement of a live-in supervisor for each of the 35 fraternities involved in the suit. Under the current draft of the strategic plan, a live-in director is "strongly encouraged" but not required.

Wright expressed concern over the financial impact of a required live-in supervisor.

"I can't think of any house that has the budget to absorb that," he said.

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