The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 64.0°F | Partly Cloudy

IFC Officers Set Priorities for Year

By Hyun Soo Kim
Associate News Editor

New InterFraternity Council officers, elected at the end of last term, will focus on party alcohol policy and sexual harassment issues, according to IFC President Prashant B. Doshi '95.

"Priority one is the alcohol issue. It's like the way the [Delta Kappa Epsilon] incident occurred. ... We can avoid those incidents. We need to check ID's better, and be more hard core about things like that," Doshi said.

"We want to set up networks on campus to reduce risk ... and have social chair meetings in different houses," Doshi added. He also plans to start a branch of the national alcohol abuse prevention group GAMMA, Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol. GAMMA will set up workshops and seminars on alcohol abuse.

Doshi also wants to address the issues of sexual assault and harassment through seminars among fraternities and sororities. "Date rape is another priority -- everyone has talked about it, but now it is time to work on it," Doshi said. "I am planning to start GAR, Greeks Against Rape, at MIT as a formal set-up for programs to fall under."

Doshi plans to provide more structure for junior IFC members so that pledges from different houses can meet to discuss house events, pledge life, alcohol, hazing, and academic pressures. "The main purpose is to eliminate stereotypes among houses," Doshi said.

Doshi added, "We will try to make frosh more aware of what substantive questions to ask during rush: like time commitments, responsibilities, and duties."

IFC will take on bigger role in rush

The goal of Karl Cheng '94, the new rush chair, is to actively help fraternities with rush. "Some frats didn't have a good rush [last fall], and the IFC will help them out more individually next year," Cheng said.

Emil H. Mertzel '93, rush chair at Tau Epsilon Phi, welcomed the added help from the IFC, though he was skeptical about its effectiveness. "The result of our rush was typical. We have a full house, but rush itself has been more and more difficult for us. This past rush, some anti-fraternity propaganda was mailed to frosh and parents, and whether or not it affects our rush is a concern of mine," said Mertzel.

"IFC should continue to help us be a thriving living group on campus and counteract things like housing proposals and frat-bashing," Mertzel said. "I like the movement to honesty about rush. I see that in a positive light."

Judicial Committee Chair David H. Hijirida '94 believes an increased awareness of alcohol policies will be necessary, especially during rush. "I want to suggest ways to decrease alcohol liabilities. For example, make more frats use wristbands [to identify legal drinkers]," he said.

"Also, we need to make sure rush chairs at fraternities know the [rush] rules," he said. "I was on the review board and I found that not a lot of rush violations were malicious, but were made just through ignorance of the rules."

According to former IFC President James F. Miskel III '93, the alcohol policy, sexual harassment, hazing, and anti-fraternity sentiment in campus publications were issues singled out by the IFC's Improvement Committee, which was set up by the Executive Committee, though no real action has been taken on these issues. The Improvement Committee will continue to meet until the new officers get settled in.

As community relations co-chairs, Jeffrey M. D'Urso '94 and David M. Frohman '95 plan to institute ongoing community service through the IFC Service Corps, which will match fraternities, sororities and living groups with community service agencies.

The new IFC president is Doshi of Delta Tau Delta, the vice president is Jeremy D. Rishel '94 of Sigma Phi Epsilon, the treasurer is Daniel E. Stine '94 of Kappa Sigma, and the secretary is Rahul A. Shendure '95 of Delta Upsilon. The community relations co-chairs are D'Urso and Frohman, both from Theta Chi.

Also elected to the Executive Committee were JudComm Chair Hijirida of Phi Sigma Kappa, Public Relations Representative Meelan Lee '95 of Alpha Phi, Rush Chair Cheng of Chi Phi, and Panhellenic Association President Mariquita C. Gilfillan '94 of Alpha Phi.

A total of 26 open positions remain in the IFC. They include: eight positions in the cabinet, six in the Judicial Committee Review Board, and eleven for JudComm investigators. The Women's Conference representative position on the Executive Committee is also open.

According to Neal H. Dorow, adviser to fraternities and independent living groups, these offices will be filled by the spring semester through additional elections.

The Dormitory Committee will hold elections by the second week of next term.

"The goal is to encourage ongoing community service, instead of just having a couple of big projects," D'Urso said.