Tetzloff Will Be Next President of the IFC
By Rosa Cao
In the Interfraternity Council elections last Wednesday Nov. 16, Isaac J. Tetzloff ’07 ran unopposed for president and William D. Mroz ’08 was elected vice-president. Others elected were Michael T. Jensen ’07 as Judicial Committee chair, Jonathan A. Birnbaum ’08 as risk manager, Akil J. Middleton ’08 as recruitment chair, Edward G. Fagin ’08 as chair for program development, and Stephen A. Whittaker ’07 as executive assistant.
After a transition period, the new Executive Committee will be officially sworn in on Dec. 14.
Among the issues facing the IFC over the past few years have been tense relations with the Boston and Cambridge city police, a ragged public image, and shortfalls in recruiting.
To address these issues, President-elect Tetzloff pledged to work with external people and organizations such as the Dormitory Council, Undergraduate Association, administrators and faculty, and Panhellenic.
With respect to the city police, Tetzloff said, “it’s not a bad relationship, but it could definitely improve; we could make a stronger commitment to working with them, to make sure we stay on the same page. They might see problems we’re not seeing, and vice versa.” While “MIT Police have a personal relationship with the houses — they are there to help you — the Boston and Cambridge Police create more [potential] for a negative impact,” Tetzloff said. “We want to maintain a friendly positive relationship with all of them.”
The risk manager is responsible for “reducing risks by aiding in the organization of socially responsible events, including [organization] of alcohol intervention training, legal liability seminars, and CPR training” according to the IFC constitution. In adopting the position, Birnbaum said he will “do anything that will make fun fraternity events safe too.”
Specifically, Birnbaum said he would like risk management consultants (RMCs are undergraduate members of fraternities who undergo special training and are paid by the hour to monitor events) to “work with fraternities to make things safer, and not be policemen there to get people in trouble.”
A marketing committee may also be in the works to improve public relations with new students and the rest of MIT. “I’m not saying the image is bad,” said incoming vice president Mroz. “We just want to involve not just the people in Greek life, but everyone else as well,” potentially through a campus-wide community service event. Such an event would help show that “fraternities are good for the overall image of MIT,” Mroz said.
Mroz also gave credit to the outgoing committee: “This past administration shouldered most of the burden. IFC wasn’t as organized in the past — they got the organization back. We want to keep up what they’ve been doing.”
One of the continuing projects the new officers will develop is the Standards Committee. While still in the planning stage, the Committee would work as a “mechanism to make sure that fraternities are living up to what we want as a community,” whether it be “academic standards or community values,” Tetzloff said.
The Standards Committee could also be a useful forum for members from different fraternities to get together and discuss problems or share solutions to fraternity-specific issues, Mroz said.
The IFC recruitment goal each fall is 300 pledges, enough to fill spots in all the houses. While “recruitment numbers are going up in percentage,” they are “still about 50 short of the goal … based on the task force report,” Tetzloff said. Furthermore, “a number of pledges depledge, and we lose some of that number,” further undermining recruitment.
“Getting them is not the hard thing, keeping them is the hard thing,” Tetzloff said. He said he wants to work with pledge educators to improve their programs, aiding retention by “helping pledges get integrated into the house and the values of the fraternity.”
Recruitment Chair-elect Middleton plans new tactics, “getting our names out there” with postering. “We’re moving towards the idea of a year-round recruitment. Some of the houses are recruiting in the spring,” he said. “I’d like to see more of that.”
As the new executive assistant, Whittaker will further facilitate potential pledges’ access to information about the fraternities with an improved IFC Web site. “When a student thinks about joining, the first place they look is often our site. Right now it’s a little sparse — I want to make sure it’s up to date.”