See, fraternities can do good things too
Re: Baaad press, Jan.20
To the Editor:
The Gazette editorial board has erred again. It isn't the first time. It likely won't be the last. However, we have not written to blame The Gazette staff for their opinions. Instead, we would like to take this opportunity to educate readers about greek letter organizations at Western and to address fraternity stereotypes that were referred to in the recent editorial "Baad Press."
The Gazette suggested a few strategies the InterFraternity Council might consider in order to prevent these types of 'image' problems from occurring. In fact, the IFC has already implemented several measures to ensure our member fraternities are given the tools required to assist their chapters in building better men. A few of our initiatives are:
1) Sept 17/97: Invited the London Police Department, London Fire Department, Liquor Control Board and Housing Mediation Officer to educate member organizations about holding safe, law abiding social functions while also respecting our neighbours' rights.
2) Oct 29/97: Educational workshop conducted on fraternity initiation and the dangers of hazing. A movie was shown, guidelines reviewed and examples of both acceptable and unacceptable activities were discussed. Violations and penalties for violators were also presented.
3) Nov 26/97: Guest speaker Professor Solomon (Asst. Dean in the Faculty of Law) presented a stellar discussion on alcohol abuse, responsible drinking and legal liability.
The InterFraternity Council believes a good effort was put forth to ensure that our member organizations exhibit the required high standard of conduct expected of a gentlemen's fraternity. Unfortunately, one of our organizations ignored our programming and clearly contravened our regulations. As a governing body we have accepted responsibility for that organization's behavior. There was no 'cover-up' and no 'secret meetings' were held. The steps taken were consistent with the established operating procedures to deal with inter-fraternity conflicts and resulted in the suspension of the Delta Kappa Epsilon.
The Gazette also takes a cheap shot regarding fraternity web pages and the portrayal of alcohol, wild parties and sexism. While it may occur elsewhere, this is simply not the case at Western. The IFC will not allow the promotion of activities that are contrary to our mission and have implemented strict regulations for the use of server space.
It is unfortunate that The Gazette has focussed on a single negative action and has not attempted to balance coverage with the more commonly occurring positive events. In our view, this selective coverage serves to promote the common fraternity stereotype that the IFC is working hard to dispel.
If you would like to find out more about fraternities, the 1998 fundraising campaign for the London Heart and Stroke Foundation or news about the decision of three Western fraternity houses to go alcohol free by the year 2000, please check us out online at http://www.usc.uwo.ca/gls/ifc/ or attend an IFC meeting. Always located in public place and open to all!