Goodbye Serenades, Hello New Policies

    But, dear reader-bros, UCSD Greek culture will find another way to introduce all of the members of each chapter at one time and place. Some chapters have always wanted to opt out of serenades but none wanted to single themselves out as “that chapter” that didn’t partake. PHC, which is enforcing the new policy, comes off as the bad cop. But this gives unwilling chapters the opportunity to spend their new members’ valuable time elsewhere. While Greek leaders may understand why serenades had to go, the rank-and-file backbone of the Greek system is probably more bummed about the change.

    The Greek system is comprised of 37 chapters housed underneath three councils: IFC, PHC and the Multicultural Greek Council. Each council has policies for their respective chapters, but each chapter is also responsible for complying with guidelines set by their national offices. Clearly, there can be conflicts when chapters are “bro-stricted” by both national and UCSD policy. Two years ago, with a push from the then new Greek advisor, the UCSD Greek system implemented REACH, a broad set of standards for each chapter to meet intended to hold lagging chapters accountable. REACH was then tied to Greek awards, giving each chapter a compelling reason to comply with these standards. But REACH and serenades both question the extent to which chapters should be left autonomous to do their own thing based on national guidance unrestricted by IFC, PHC and MGC policies.

    REACH standards right now stand as a one-size-fits-all set of policies guiding every chapter. Yet not every chapter strives to meet identical ends. AEPi’s — my frat’s — national mission statement encourages promoting “Jewish ideals, values and ethics.” We don’t get a lot of props from REACH for doing that, nor do we get a break when we miss REACH-affiliated programming for it. As a result, AEPi can get boned when it comes to REACH. It’s as conflicting as deciding what to do about a midterm on Sun God.

    Given their prevalence in our Greek culture, maybe it wasn’t possible for serenades to be dealt with on a chapter-by-chapter basis. But the increased chapter autonomy with chapter-specific policies on everything else will give Greek chapters more creativity in carrying out their national duties while still promoting invaluable leadership opportunities. So here’s my suggestion: We need more than one Greek advisor. Other schools with the same Greek population size as UCSD’s have more than one staff member to work with Greeks. The advantages of developing policies specific for each chapter should give admin reason to think about investing in our underfunded Greek life.

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