November 13, 2012

Highlights From the Daily Sun Dialogues

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A panel that included administrators, student leaders, professors and a lawyer discussed hazing and drinking at Cornell at the Daily Sun Dialogues on Tuesday. Those who missed the panel can recap some of the most powerful moments from the panel below:

On the abolition of the Greek system at Alfred University:“My institution has had two student deaths because of hazing. As a result of that, the trustees of my institution, who were all alums, who were all fraternity members and sorority members, did away with Greek life. We no longer have fraternities and sororities at Alfred University because of hazing. It is a radical approach, but they looked at everything that we could do to make it either the best system in world or [decide to] dissolve it because we didn’t know how to fix it. I compliment the work you have put into it as a community to make it stronger, to make it better, because we lost a proud tradition at our school and we could not figure out how to fix it.”— Norman Pollard, dean of students at Alfred University

On the Panhellenic Council’s efforts to combat hazing:“Before people go through the formal recruitment process of entering Greek life, we have leaders sit down with them and explain to them that this is not only our expectations of their behavior when they do join this community, but this is also a promise that we make to you that you don’t have to go through such processes. Even if it is an isolated incident or if you feel as though you are going through something that constitutes hazing, then you do have allies not only in your chapter but on the larger governance level where you can come forward.”— Hollis Hanley ’13, president of the Panhellenic Council

On the University’s approach to addressing student drinking:“The important thing to focus on is the harm that is caused by drinking. Whether you draw that cutoff at four, five or eight and eleven or wherever it might be, I think we all share a concern about drinking that leads to people being transported to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.”— Tim Marchell, director of mental health initiatives at Gannett Health Services

On the potential drawbacks of the Cayuga’s Watchers program:“One of the things that I am concerned about [Cayuga’s Watchers] is the research about diffusion of responsibility. I think that probably what could occur is if we overly rely upon paid people to be responsible for intervention. We will diffuse the responsibility from ourselves and recognize that other people will be responsible for your friends.”— Prof. Dawn Schrader, communications

On the sanctions and suspensions the University has imposed on Greek chapters:“We may have lost the balance of the educational consequence. As I look across the board and see some of the consequences being imposed on fraternities and sororities, whether it is intended or not, I do believe they tend to be disciplinary. Maybe down the road, it turns out the facts are wrong, it turns out it was not even an individual here on our campus … I do think there needs to be a greater balance of educational consequences.”— William Shaw ’69, J.D. ’73, partner at Shaw Law Firm

Original Author: Alexa Davis