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ILGs May Form New Council within IFC

By FrankDabek
News Editor

Several off-campus independent living groups are in the process of forming an independent council. The council, which will most likely be dubbed the Independent Living Group Council (ILGC), is still in the planning stages; a formal announcement is expected from the council in the next few weeks.

Likely members of the council mainly include the living groups traditionally called Independent Living Groups (ILGs): Fenway house, StudentHouse, The Women's Independent Living Group, Epsilon Theta (ET), and pika. These groups are not associated with national fraternities. Among fraternities, Tau Epsilon Phi (TEP) is a possible candidate for the council.

Erin A. Schuster '98, president of Student House, said that her house was interested in the group. "[ILGC] is just an organization so that we can have more communication among the ILGs."

Nathan J. Williams '98, a resident of pika, said that "we're planning to [join the group] but everything is tentative at this point."

Schuster said that the group does "have a charter but we haven't had an official meeting."

Christopher D. Beland '00, a resident of Fenway house who spoke on behalf of the council, said that the group was not prepared to release a formal statement at this time.

Relationship with IFC an issue

Duane H. Dreger '99, president of the Interfraternity Council, said that he was aware of the group but that they "haven't contacted the IFC yet." Dreger said that the IFC is "waiting for them to approach us."

When the group does formally approach the IFC, both groups will need to decide how they will work together. Dreger said that the IFC might treat the group in a manner similar to how the Panhellenic Association is treated, and give the ILGC a seat on the IFC's executive committee.

To make such a change would require amending the IFC's constitution, a process which requires a three quarters majority vote of the IFC Presidents' Council.

The IFC must decide "if the ILGs are just a special interest group" or if there is a clear distinction from other IFC members, said Charles R. Broderick '99, vice president for internal affairs of the IFC, who has been sitting in on some of the preliminary meetings of the group. "Unfortunately, there is some crossover" as living groups associated with national fraternities are also considering associating themselves with ILGC, Broderick said.

Increased representation one goal

Dreger acknowledged concerns that the interests of the ILGs are often lost in the larger IFC. "There are times when their interests get steamrolled over by the IFC," he said. There are approximately six ILGs on the 38-member IFC.

While acknowledging these concerns, Dreger said that the ILGs "have to realize that they are an extremely small minority of the IFC community."

Broderick also agreed that increased representation is a goal of the council. He said that the ILGs are seeking a "stronger opinion in the IFC." Broderick said that he believed that the group would remain within the IFC, however. "I don't see [the ILGs] leaving the IFC at all."

Apart from interests in the IFC, Broderick called the council a "focal point" for ILG interests and said that he saw increased communication as one of the group's major goals. "I think it's great" for students to organize, he said.

Schuster said that gaining increased representation in the IFC is not "a major concern."

Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean for residence and campus activities and advisor to fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, said that it was a positive for "any groups that share a common interest to get together."

Dorow said that the houses involved in the council "have not been active players" in the IFC. "If this is a way for them to get more involved that's wonderful," he said.

However, Dorow downplayed the need to create an entirely separate forum for ILGs. "Having [the ILGs'] interests heard is what meetings are for," he said. "They have an ample opportunity" to be heard in the current democratic structure of the IFC, he said.

Tentative as the state of the new council may be, Dreger seems hopeful. "If they come up with something that will improve [their situation in the IFC] I'm all for it," he said.