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Council Meeting: Greek Life and Share the Road

At the first University Council meeting of the semester, last Wednesday, a report of the Committee on Quality of Student Life was presented which dealt with the proposed changes to the Fraternity/Sorority Advisory Board Charter. Dr. Diane Spatz, chair of the committee, shared with Council the committee's recommendations which, she said are intended to increase faculty involvement in the FSAB and to expand the responsibilities of the FSAB to improve its effectiveness.

Specifically, the proposed responsibilities of the board as recommended by the Committee and "enthusiastically endorsed" by VPUL Val Cade, are as follows:

- Monitor the efforts of the IFC/Panhellenic/BIG-C in achieving the goals and objectives of their strategic plans.

  • Audit each chapter at least once annually based on the required paperwork that each chapter submits annually to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs (OFSA). Assign specific goals for quality improvement of each chapter based on these annual reviews.
  • Support the efforts of OFSA to improve compliance of chapters with University policies.
  • Meet with all chapters that are in violation of established University rules that are non-compliant with expected performance standards, or that are sub-optimal in achieving their target goals of performance.
  • Address, as outlined in this charter, any incidents of misconduct related to fraternities and sororities, especially those that result in injury, illness, psychological harm, or property damage. Recommend and monitor the completion of sanctions against member organizations that are found guilty of misconduct.
  • Meet at least seven times during the academic year to conduct the audit reviews and attend to hearing of misconduct, and to monitor progress on probationary agreements.

In addition, the new charter proposes that this committee should report on an annual basis to the Provost, the President, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the Undergraduate Assembly.

Connor Daly, former IFC Chair, noted that the IFC was deeply involved in these revisions and supports them. Council endorsed the changes.

Chief of Police Thomas Rambo then explained the Share the Road Campaign (Almanac January 21) which he said was launched last month to educate both drivers of motor vehicles as well as bicycle drivers how to follow the rules of the road. For the next several months there will be educational stops with leaflets given to those who are warned about the laws and then the enforcement phase will be implemented. Chief Rambo said that over the years there have been many complaints about bicyclists on the sidewalks and motorists in the bike lanes, with an increasing number of letters by many of those who have been concerned about this issue (Speaking Out in Almanac). President Judith Rodin asked if bicyclists will be stopped on Locust Walk, one of the prime problem locations, where bicyclists are not permitted, and Chief Rambo answered that there will be Penn Police deployed to the Walk to educate and then enforce. Dr. Mitch Marcus, chair of the Faculty Senate and the former chair of the Safety and Security Committee, said that this is a wonderful first step and he urged the Penn community to fully back the efforts of the Penn Police. Chief Rambo said that there have been about two dozen reported accidents in the past year, with ten involving bicyclists and pedestrians and the remainder between motor vehicles and bicyclists. He noted that many incidents go unreported, including many near misses. Dr. Rodin said that this campaign, which is a collaborative effort on the part of many organizations, is part of a longer-term effort. Penn previously persuaded Philadelphia to paint bicycle lanes on the streets around the University and now is attempting to focus on utilization of those lanes and enforcing the relevant laws.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 20, February 4, 2003