Lafayette has finalized policy changes to the Greek organization accreditation process, mandating increased attendance at various workshops addressing concerns about inclusivity in fraternities and sororities.
Earlier this month, the Student Government Greek Life Committee submitted proposed changes to Vice President of Campus Life Annette Diorio. These changes instituted that at least 75 percent of the chapter must be in attendance at four different workshops. Previous attendance requirements were 51 percent of the chapter total. The topics of these workshops include sexual assault and harassment, anti-black racial discrimination, multiculturalism, and hazing.
Lauren Ameruoso, the director of Student Government’s Greek Life Committee noted that these changes are a major step forward and she hopes “that individuals can take all of this information from the workshops and apply it to their other organizations on campus as well as contributing to their chapter.”
Diorio has reviewed the changes and approved the new standards, which will be implemented for the 2020-2021 accreditation year.
“What the students proposed is a very good start and a realistic start, and it helps to engage students in a greater conversation,” Diorio said. “At the core of having an organization is organizational responsibility and holding each other accountable, and making sure that everybody’s participating in these events.”
These new workshops have not yet taken place, but Greek organizations are already engaging in other non-mandated trainings to address some of the mounting concerns about Lafayette’s fraternity and sorority life. Recently, Zeta Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Chi Phi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma all participated in optional workshops hosted by One Love.
Ameruoso, who is co-president of One Love, explained that the workshops were designed to be the start of ongoing and sensitive discussions within each chapter.
“Especially in light of the anti-violence Instagram account, having a facilitated discussion creates a safe space for individuals to share their own experiences and allows people the opportunity to gain the language to talk about relationship abuse and acknowledge it in their everyday lives,” Ameruoso said. “Individuals seemed really receptive and excited to continue the conversation in person when we return to campus.”
Leaders across Lafayette’s Greek community and within the administration are hoping that mandating increased attendance at workshops like these will address issues of inclusivity that have led to calls for Greek life abolition. However, they said they also acknowledge that this is just a start.
Diorio noted that there is still room for improvement within the accreditation process and that the school “has revised these accreditation guidelines almost annually since 2014.” She added that it is good to think of accreditation as “a living program that should be something that reflects what students are trying to accomplish.”
The goal is to continue adapting the accreditation process for years to come to ensure that Lafayette’s Greek community is as inclusive as possible, she said.