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Commitments for a Better Community

While our office is confident in the profound impact that a fraternal organization can have on a student, we also have an understanding that our organizations have oftentimes benefited from systemic oppression that was remained unchecked for too long. Below, we have outlined commitments that our office has made to fight against this oppression as we work to provide access and equity to all students supported by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Furthermore, it’s important for us to note that as we work to combat these systemic issues, access and equity can never be fully achieved in the current state of fraternity and sorority if we are to honestly evaluate and commit to sustainable change in our community. Our goal is to achieve as equitable of an experience as possible, and we hope to achieve this through the following commitments.

Commitments from the Office

1. We recognize that decades of narratives, practices and traditions have made the Panhellenic recruitment experience understood through a white lens. We continue to fall short in supporting our Black and Brown students and students of color through this experience; therefore are exploring more equitable recruitment structures.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Edits to the PHC recruitment process

1. Adding a second Round 1 to give potential new members double the opportunity to get visibility

2. Required a historical transparency statement to be read and distributed during recruitment for each chapter

3. First semester requiring financial transparency forms to be read and distributed during recruitment for each chapter

4. Requiring backgrounds for chapter rooms to be uniform between each chapter member

5. Recruitment will be strictly virtual for COVID-19

6. Every chapter member is required to participate in an hour and half long listening circle on racism and racial violence

a. Every Rho Gamma and Panhellenic Executive Board member was trained to facilitate listening circles

7. Every PNM is required to participate in an hour and a half long listening circle on racism and racial violence

8. Every chapter member has to watch and reflect on the NPC video addressing implicit bias, “Cultivating a More Inclusive Recruitment Experience and Addressing Implicit Bias”

9. Each chapter was required to submit a detailed DEI education plan for the spring semester incorporating national resources

10. Lowered the cost of recruitment registration

2. We recognize that we may have fallen short in our own learning and education; therefore are committed to implementing a staff education model that is more centered around, diversity, inclusion and equity.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Begun to incorporate access and equity current events into staff meetings

ii. Attended the first ASACCU equity and access workshop series as a staff

iii. Attended several webinars that focused on supporting Black and Brown students and organizations

iv. Created a student worker position specifically dedicated to MGC visibility and sustainability efforts

3. We recognize that most OFSL-sponsored programs and workshops in the past did not address structures of inequity; therefore moving forward we will incorporate conversations of privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression into our programs.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Facilitated two MGC 101 workshops open to all organizations, and facilitated one MGC 101 workshop to a specific chapter

ii. Added a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion to the IFC Executive Board

iii. Incorporated conversation of privilege, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression into semesterly officer trainings and Presidents’ Roundtables

4. We recognize that MGC organizations play a critical role in shaping the cultural, altruistic, and educational foundation of fraternity and sorority, but often lack visibility and access to resources; therefore we’re committed to intentionally partnering with MGC organizations to provide access to greater visibility and sustainability.

a. What we have done so far:

i. Begun to highlight more MGC organizations on the FSL social media

ii. Incorporated education around MGC structure and history into PHC and IFC Executive Board training

iii. Clearly defined the OFSL-designated funds for each MGC organization and their ability to reach those funds

iv. Provide SEPTA reimbursements to MGC members

v. Facilitated MGC 101 to campus partners

vi. Developed scholarships for membership dues for MGC affiliated students

We know that the fraternity and sorority community has been sustained for decades through under-accountability of its chapters; therefore it is our goal to hold organizations within the fraternity and sorority community to a greater accountability/ standard for passive and active acts of oppression and racism, and work with organizations to hold their members to the same accountability/ standard. As a staff, we want chapters to hold us accountable, too.