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  #1  
Old 03-06-2003, 12:15 PM
Zephyr Zephyr is offline
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Arrow Article on Univ. of Pitt's Greek Life Review

I've read their final report. I could have dumped out a can of alphabet soup and the result would have been a better report than what they came up with, which was basically, "There are GLO's. They live together. The numbers are down."

Pitt’s Big Fat Greek Life

writer: Brentin Mock


With the release of a new study by the University of Pittsburgh calling for “in-depth review” of the continuing existence “of any Greek chapter that does not comply with [university] requirements for recognition as a student organization” -- including the minimum 10-person membership requirement -- Interim Greek Advisor Terrance Milani says he has challenged all Pitt fraternities and sororities to improve their numbers. Currently, less than 10 percent of Pitt undergraduates are Greeks; Milani says they should want more. One segment of Greek society that took issue with the report is the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the governing body of Pitt’s historically black Greek chapters. According to the study, only 44, or less than 4 percent, of the 1,341 Greeks belong to the campus’s historically black chapters; black undergraduates make up 10 percent of the student populace. While traditional Greek chapters boast memberships in the 50s, 60s, or 70s, all but one of Pitt’s eight historically black Greek chapters have fewer than 10 members: Alpha Kappa Alpha has 12. Black Greeks are concerned for their existence, especially since recognition from the university brings funding. At a recent Greek leadership conference, a speech by Milani left Delta Sigma Theta member Bintu Sharif with the impression that Pitt would like to see its National Pan-Hellenic Council broken up and streamlined into the other traditional Greek governing bodies, Pan-Hellenic Council and Interfraternity Council. Not so, says Milani. Black Greeks were integrated into the traditional Greek councils in the past, he says, but the integration didn’t last. He also notes that “we haven’t done anything as an office to jeopardize any fraternities or sororities based just on numbers.” Dean of Students and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Jack L. Daniel, who commissioned the Pitt Greek study from Director of public safety Deborah M. Furka (and who has, until recently, refused student requests for study results), said the administration won’t nix low-membership black Greeks; they need to upgrade their marketing campaign if they’re going to stay alive. Daniel (who has no plans to leave despite rumors -- see below) recalled the day when black Greek chapters were the only organizations on campus blacks could join. Today, however, there are over 50 black organizations at Pitt and some black students opt to join historically white organizations, such as the traditional Greek chapters. Public Safety’s Furka also called for other improvements to Greek life: a housing director to be a live-in liaison between frat houses and the Pitt administration; a call to have “off-campus” frat houses adhere to the same policies as those on campus; and an upgrade of the Greek Life Web site. If Pitt granted its black Greeks amenities such as housing, says Sharif, as they do for their traditional Greeks, then smaller black fraternities would be better off. If black Greeks had the right numbers, counters Daniel, “Pitt would give them a hall in a second.” Certain floors in Pitt’s Amos and McCormick Halls are reserved for sororities -- no black sororities, though, are represented there. Milani, for his part, says he never meant to make black Greeks fearful, but adds: “Maybe I did what I intended to do. If they have to ask themselves ‘Hey, we do only have two members, what are we gonna do about this?’ then maybe, I did win.”
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2003, 12:51 PM
kddani kddani is offline
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Where did you find this? With school out for spring break this week I hadn't heard anything in a couple days.
How did you get to read the final report?
I figured it woudl be a bunch of BS, telling us stuff that WE as greeks already know but they as admin never bothered to know.

The NPHC groups on campus really are very small... which I never figured out. Maybe because our Black Action Society is VERY large and very active.

I think it would be great if NPHC groups got housing as well, but with the low numbers they wouldn't really be able to financially support it. The sororities on campus are solely responsible for their suites, which means we get the short end of the stick sometimes. Pitt is responsible for the structure, and the bedrooms/bathrooms, but the sorority is responsible for everything else. Furniture in the common rooms, the kitchen (our refridgerator went last year, and we had to buy a new one! We didn't even know that was our responsibility). We pay just as much to live in the suites as non-greeks do to live in the other suites, but we actually get less- those suites are furnished and taken care of by the school- if their fridge goes, they get it replaced )

While suites are less costly than houses, they still cost a lot of money to keep up. Currently in Amos (the sorority hall), each floor holds somewhere between 15-17 people. If the sorority can't fill the suite, housing puts Independents in. This usually doesn't go over too well with either the sorority or the person housing puts there.
Greek life at Pitt can definately afford to get it's numbers up, but it's looking like we're getting there. Numbers are definately up this year. Fire 1977- do you know what the numbers are like after spring rush? I wonder what houses are losing a lot of seniors. I think this fall's rush is going to turn out to be an important one. I'd really like the see the 5 houses who have always been under total (since i've been there) get their numbers up- some are definately trying, however I think that there's at least one who doesn't really care. Not going to name names, even though I know they don't have anybody on GC.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2003, 12:56 PM
Zephyr Zephyr is offline
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I have secret sources and friends who work for the University. Also, they are making it available to requestors now. =)
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2003, 01:17 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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The above article is in the "News & Views" section of this week's City Paper. Available on street corners everywhere or at http://www.pghcitypaper.com .

So in other words, he wants BGLO's to operate on a total system like NPC? Yeah, that's gonna go over like a lead balloon.

Are the chapters there exclusively Pitt students or are they citywide chapters (encompassing Pitt, CMU etc - if I have this messed up, someone please correct me).

It sounds like they're worried about the racial issues and trying to rectify them, but on the other hand, they don't seem to have a clue as to how BGLO's operate.
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Last edited by 33girl; 03-06-2003 at 02:21 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2003, 01:26 PM
fire1977 fire1977 is offline
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Okay to answer your questions:
Zephyr got to read the copy of the report that I have, as I still had it in my bag (she advises Pitt as well).

Just one point. As I was looking at the report I noticed that the sororities had numbers listed besides the name. Whoever they consulted on this report obviously didn't look into numbers. They had my chapter listed as only having 19 girls, which is DEF. wrong.

Spring recruitment.....in one word SUCKED! It was very cold, while they had 70 some girls sign up, only 32 actually went through, only one house had a lot of return for pref 28 women even though they could only bid 8 girls. Only five of the 32 (I think) girls didn't sign bids and they were ones who only wanted said house. We didn't do so hot, so they are trying to COB right now.

Housing-like I said in the other thread, I think that the NPHC groups aren't aware of what we take care of. My chapter pays summer dues to cover expenses like paint, etc. It took us 5 years to save up enough to replace the crappy pink carpeting on the formal end. I think they should try a floor in Bruce hall for the NPHC groups. We also have to keep in mind that WE the NPC groups were forced to move into Amos by Pitt, we deserve to live there. It also costs 150 per semester more to live in a sorority hall if I remember correctly. I have no problem with NPHC groups getting suites, they deserve a meeting place, the university has the 24 quiet floors, international living units, etc and I don't see the problem there. Although if they do this, they need to provide suites for the "off-campus fraternities" don't you think?
You know pitt creates this housing shortage ever semester, I remember people living in the lounges of tower b my freshman year and have had the unfortunate experience to have an independent living in our suite.

As far as the "one group" who doesn't seem concerned. I agree with you, but they are doing much better. All of the sororities are at least in the 30's now, which is better than when I was there. They did fairly well during spring recruitment. It's us that are up and down.

PS they dont know how anyone operates. Not sure if the NPHC groups are citywide or not. From what I've seen no I don't think so, but I could be wrong. We've tried including them in stuff and they seem to want to be separated.

PSS all suites, if I remember right have to house 17 people, although the number of people in certain rooms vary from floor to floor.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2003, 01:32 PM
kddani kddani is offline
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Pitt's been under fire for awhile about racial things.... some arguments which i think have merits, others which I think are ridiculous.
It is a fairly socially segregated campus, IMO, at least when it comes to African Americans. There are a handful that are members of NPC sororities, and I do know some of them get a lot of flack for not joining NPHC.
IMO, i think some of it is self-segregation. I may get flamed for this, but it's my own personal opinion from 5 years of observations. The black community at Pitt is VERY strong, and it seems that a lot of black men and women socially keep to other black men and women. I really would like to see more interaction, but i think it's going to take a lot of work on both sides.
It can be very intimidating to start to bridge the gaps. Several years ago myself and several other members of my NPC sorority took part in a date auction sponsored by the Carribean and Latin American Students Association and Black Action Society. Essentially, we were the only "white girls" in the room. Some people were very welcoming, some people were downright rude and hostile that we were even there. It was for charity! We were asked by a CLASA member to be there! Being nasty to anyone trying to help your charity is downright wrong- between the several of us auctioned off we raised several hundred dollars.
Once again, please don't flame me, these are my personal experiences at Pitt as someone who has lived there and been part of the community for 5 years.
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Old 03-06-2003, 07:03 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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Unhappy

While sitting here and drinking Cal. Grape juice, I keep getting upset for the Academian Plicks who sit in the Ad Min Building deciding the fate of many Organizations who are member of their Campi!


While I can only speak for LXA, we have the largest food drive in the USA! The postal sevice also has one and pales in comparison!

We also do a charity event in the spring and fall semesters that give money and food goods to local charitys!

I know of 4 other Chapters in the area that do the same thing on their own!

Then we get some snot nosed ass who peers down his/her nose looking at Greeks as a whole!

NHPC Chapters have always been low numbers on predominatly White campi! But are very strong on many PBGL campi!

For some judicious ass to decide for all of us is ____------!

If the school looks at who donates money to the school, it is Greeks! Not someone who Grad from there!


Do we as Greeks f***UP Yep, but most of the time it is Kids, who are our Bro/Sis doing it that makes us look bad!

Ask DeltaAlum, LxaAlum and hoosier, they will tell you the same thing!

Off to din din!

TTFN!
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2003, 07:06 AM
kddani kddani is offline
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new Pitt News Article

NEWS
Greek leaders discuss report, voice concerns
By GREG HELLER-LaBELLE
News Editor
March 19, 2003

In a meeting with representatives from Pitt's Greek community Tuesday night, Director of Public Safety Deborah Furka and Director of Student Life Birney Harrigan discussed the recommendations of Furka's report on the Greek system.

Most of the voiced concerns centered on infringement by the University on existing Greek autonomous policies.

"I'm concerned about us losing our ability to manage ourselves," Delta Tau Delta President Shawn Bowers said. "A line does exist, and it needs to be maintained."

Using social functions as an example, Bowers said that DTD has between 17 and 23 sober brothers at every party to make sure that all policies are followed safely.

"It's ridiculous how carefully we manage it," he said, adding that the report did not include such self-management. "It seems like no one's even aware of the things we do."

Harrigan said that the goal of the administration was "to help you better manage yourselves."

"I don't think the intention is to make this an onerous experience for you," she said. "The object here is to work together."

Bowers and other leaders said that they were looking forward to working with the University, but that they wanted to preserve Greek autonomy.

"I don't want it to seem like I'm fighting the University," he said. "I'm glad this is finally happening."

Interfraternity Council President Keith Mineo said that he appreciated the report in general, but thought that some of the numerous planned committees were "quite questionable."

Harrigan said that there would be an advisory committee with Greek student representation to help discuss and implement suggestions in the report, but said it was not yet decided how many of the other suggested committees would be separate or who would comprise them.

Panhellenic Association Treasurer Stephanie Hadgkiss said that personal communication was the most valuable part of the process so far.

"A lot of the things we do we submit on paper," she said, "but a little more face-to-face communication could help clear up some of the things."

Other issues addressed included the report's suggestion for a "live-in 'housing director,' the cost of which could be shared between the University and the fraternities," which Bowers said would be "a bad situation," and instead offered to work with the University to come to some kind of compromise. PHA President Alissa Krutoff and others supported the idea of a housing official stopping by the houses on regular duty tours, which could enforce standards and still preserve privacy.

Bowers said Pitt police already monitor social functions on the Hill, but Furka, the report's compiler, said that currently, police patrolling parties is not sufficient supervision.

"They are primarily looking for violations of law and not necessarily violations of University policy," Furka said.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Students Jack Daniel, to whom the report was addressed, was not present at the meeting, according to Harrigan, in order to let students deal with the issues more directly.

"He wants students to get this done," she said.

Krutoff said that she felt the last meeting, held privately Thursday night with executive boards of the Greek governance organizations, was more productive, but still was pleased with the progress.

"It all looks positive from here," she said.

No representatives from National Pan-Hellenic Council attended the meeting, but Mineo said that they had represented themselves well at the private meeting and did not have many concerns about the report.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One again, a very useless piece of journalism on behalf of the Pitt News, one of the country's worst student newspapers.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2003, 09:42 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Re: new Pitt News Article

Quote:
Originally posted by kddani
One again, a very useless piece of journalism on behalf of the Pitt News, one of the country's worst student newspapers.
In defense of the Pitt News of course, you can't polish a turd.

Why does this whole thing read like your parents telling you to wash your hair before the school picture when you were planning on doing it to begin with?
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:22 PM
fire1977 fire1977 is offline
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Re: Re: new Pitt News Article

Quote:
Originally posted by 33girl
In defense of the Pitt News of course, you can't polish a turd.
ROFLMAO

The kid that wrote this is assigned to the "greek beat" lol. It was included in the greek report that media coverage of their events should continue. WOW, really!??!?!?!

I'm so sick of administrations, and sorority stuff right now not just from Pitt but elsewhere as well. Grrrrr!!!
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