January 27, 2010

Interfraternity Council Swears in New Execs

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At yesterday’s Interfraternity Council meeting, the outgoing Judicial Vice President Philip van der Made ’10 presided over the swearing in of the 2010 IFC Executive Board. Newly-elected IFC President Allen Miller ’11 said that Greek unity and community involvement, as well as readdressing major resolutions from the past two semesters, were his priorities for the upcoming year.

“One of the big things [is] Greek unity. We really want to work with MGLC and Panhellenic to make sure we [address] a number of things including … better[ing] the Greek image,” said Miller, who is also the outgoing executive vice president.

“In general, we need to just work on communication between different groups. The Greek system has a lot of different interests — there’s everything from the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board to the chapter heads to the national organizations — so communicating with all these different groups and trying to find some sort of consensus is going to be really key to making sure we continue to move forward in the right direction this year,” Miller said.

Incoming Vice President for University and Community Relations Nathaniel Houghton ’11 agreed with Miller regarding the importance of improving IFC’s communication with other groups both on campus and in the community.

“One of the the goals for this year is to improve our relationship with [the media],” Houghton said.

Some of the ways in which Houghton plans to improve the group’s communication include making improvements to its website and increasing the frequency of its newsletter. He explained, “I want to increase awareness [of the IFC], and with the more frequent newsletter, [I hope to] improve the awareness of the different fraternities on campus; there’s not a lot of awareness on North Campus.”

“Another thing [I plan to address] is community involvement,” Miller said. He continued, explaining specifically what an increase in community involvement would entail.

“We want to try to reach out to the city of Ithaca on events like Day of Demeter, Collegetown Cleanup — a weekly cleanup of the Collegetown area [I] organized in the fall, Relay for Life, Into the Streets [and] Change for Change,” Miller said. “We’ll be active in the Haiti relief efforts and we’ll also be encouraging chapters to participate in events with the [Ithaca] Youth Bureau more often by [participating in] events like Big Brother, Big Sister.”

Houghton also spoke about the importance of community involvement. “We’re partnering with the United Way and we’re interested in showing that the Greek system is more than just drinking and partying,” he said.

“In the past years the IFC has done something called A Dollar Makes a Difference. The idea is that if every Greek member were to donate a dollar [to the United Way] it would make a big difference,” Houghton said. “But in order to shake that up a little bit, I decided to get involved with a national organization called Change for Change, and what we’re most likely going to do is donate that to most a United Way member agency.”

The third major issue on which Miller plans to focus is the revision of certain recent resolutions. He said, “We’ll also be doing a re-look at what happened two semesters ago with all the resolutions that were passed with [things like] the minimum GPA and the catered invites, and we’ll look at where we can improve and tweak things.”

In light of what he described as bad press for Cornell’s fraternities, Miller acknowledged that improving the image of fraternities on campus will be central to the IFC’s ability to achieve its other goals for the coming year.

Original Author: Keri Blakinger