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Committee To Discuss Future of MIT FSILGs

By Issel Lim

A task force has been formed to document how fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups contribute to student life and learning at MIT.

The task force, chartered by President Charles M. Vest, will examine risk management, chapter operations, living environment, and recruitment. Its members will offer suggestions for improving for the current system and accommodating mandatory on-campus residence for first year undergraduates.

Patrick H. Winston ’65, a Course VI professor and chairman of the committee, said that the ultimate goal of the task force was “half finding out why having FSILGs is good for MIT and half recommending principles and policies on how to benefit students, like in the past.”

To do this, he said that task force members are “making ourselves gradually less stupid about the FSILG system, looking for what’s on people’s minds, asking them what’s going well or not so well, and asking about their confidence in MIT administration.”

Winston said that as someone who was helped by the FSILG system (Winston was a member of Phi Delta Theta), he feels the need to keep the system healthy.

FSILG Program Assistant Laura Martin said that the role of the task force is to “help FSILGs fulfill their educational mission, help undergraduates with their needs and obligations, to help alumni with their roles and responsibilities, and to help MIT relate with all of the stakeholders.”

Members of the task force include Winston, Senior Associate Dean for Student Life Robert M. Randolph, Executive Director of Enterprise Services Stephen Immerman, Undergraduate Association president Pius Uzamere ’04, Interfraternity Council President Larry Colagiovanni ’04, and Panhellenic President Christine Ortiz ‘05.

Committee meets with FSILGs

Task force members have visited the Alumni Leadership Conference, Association of Independent Living Groups, and the Committee on Student Life.

They have already talked to members of Sigma Chi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Sigma Nu, Phi Delta Theta, and Epsilon Theta.

Winston said that on visits to FSILGs he tells members, “I’m talking to Vest about this. So you’re one step away from talking to him.”

However, many FSILG members have not yet heard any information about the task force. When asked what he would improve about the current FSILG system, Zeta Psi member Insoo Kim ’05 said, “There isn’t much interaction between the groups. It would be nice to have more activities like Greek Week that would bring more people together.”

Task force member and Kappa Alpha Theta alumna Alicia Allen ’94 said that one of her primary recommendations is to encourage trust between students, alumni, and the administration to work better together.

MIT FSILGs now include 27 IFC fraternities, five Panhellenic sororities, five living groups, and four fraternities and sororities that belong to a different national organization.

More information can be found at http://fsilg-task-force.mit.edu.