For release: February 22, 2013
BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University's Greek Life Review Team has received the report issued Thursday by the Fraternity and Sorority Assessment Coalition that visited campus in November. The team, consisting of students, faculty, staff and fraternity/sorority advisors, was charged last fall with "identifying both the positive aspects of Greek Life on campus as well as underlying issues, concerns and areas in need of improvement."
The team will assist Dean of Students April Thompson in the formulation of overall recommendations for the Greek Life system, to be presented to Brian Rose, vice president for student affairs. The Fraternity and Sorority Assessment Coalition − a volunteer, collaborative venture of several national Greek conferences − was commissioned by the University last semester to meet with a broad spectrum of campus constituencies to provide input and recommendations. The coalition made its visit to campus in mid-November.
"We felt it was important to conduct this assessment and seek out additional input in order to better address some of the issues we were facing with our students involved in Greek Life," said Rose. "We have already implemented a number of initiatives that we believe have had a direct, positive impact on our students involved in Greek Life, but we want to make sure we have a long-term structure in place to improve the overall system."
The internal review team will now analyze the report, conduct further reviews and assist with the development of new recognition and governance policies for the Greek system on campus.
"Our overall goal is to insure the safety of our students and to make sure the rights of all individuals are respected," said Rose. "Greek Life is a good experience for many students at Binghamton University and we have many fraternities and sororities that are examples of the positive aspects of Greek Life."
The University has already strengthened enforcement of existing recognition standards and taken a number of actions to improve the oversight of its fraternities and sororities. Staff members in the Office of the Dean of Students are also working to educate each chapter and each individual member about the new standards and to explain to them that they will be held accountable to these standards.
There is also a new, elevated position overseeing these activities. After a national search, Thompson hired L.C. Coghill as the director of Greek Life. Coghill has worked quickly to tighten accountability measures and administrative procedures and is engaging students on an active basis to ensure that in addition to the process change, there is also a culture change.
"We have set high standards of operation for our fraternities and sororities and are making sure through procedures and direct engagement with the chapters and students that everyone understands that we expect quality in our fraternity and sorority system," said Coghill. "We also want them to clearly understand the consequences if they do not comply."
Coghill said requiring the students to commit to the standards set forth by the University and educating them through mandatory in-person meetings/sessions about their responsibilities on a more frequent basis is one way the University is tightening oversight. He is also bringing together the heads of all of the fraternities and sororities for a team-building and leadership summit next month.
"Binghamton University is committed to nurturing a quality institution of higher learning and we expect every organization affiliated with our school to operate with that same commitment," said Rose. "We look forward to creating a healthier, stronger and more accountable Greek Life system that represents our values and represents a quality experience for all of our students who choose to associate with a fraternity or sorority."
The Coalition Assessment Team's full report can be viewed here (pdf, 459.7kb). Binghamton University's Greek Life Review Team will begin to analyze the report and will also hold public forums for input. Information about this review process and any future public participation opportunities will be announced shortly.
Last Updated: 2/22/13