IFC looks to move beyond troubled semester

Recently, three Interfraternity Council organizations have been suspended by Sam Houston State University for violations of university policy.

Chris Winfield | The Houstonian

Chris Winfield | The Houstonian

With the removal of Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha and Theta Chi from campus, eight organizations remain in the IFC.

The Houstonian sat down with Nicholas Hollingsworth, president of the Interfraternity Council, to discuss the state of the council and Greek Life at SHSU.

The Houstonian: Following the suspension of the three IFC organizations last semester, what is the state of the IFC on campus?

Interfraternity Council: “It’s stronger than it has been in the past few years, [because] I have been on IFC and it hasn’t been that uniform of a group. With this new IFC, we’re definitely the new members – obviously the ones that aren’t kicked off. We’re definitely coming together and actually enforcing the bylaws in the constitution. And that doesn’t really pertain since the three that are off now were doing it better. I mean, it’s always been open to anybody. It could be the same members of each fraternity. We don’t really see it as ‘since they’re off, we’re going to do something different.’ It’s just new people getting in that actually want to change it.”

H: Have the suspensions had any effect on the way IFC or Greek Life is portrayed?

IFC: “We had members on IFC that couldn’t come back this semester that were part of the groups that got kicked off. So we had to go find new people. It’s very difficult to find people that were going to come to the meetings, especially when you already have people who know their position and how to do it very well. And then they get kicked off and you have to go find somebody else. It’s kind of like starting from the beginning in different parts of IFC.”

H: What are the remaining IFC organizations doing to better the name of the council and Greek life as a whole?

IFC: “They’re still participating in STAR Packet, which is getting out and doing community service, philanthropy. It’s basically the university’s way of keeping us in check. And when I say in check, it’s like holding us to our own standard. We say we’re going to go to sporting events, to community service, donate to our philanthropy – that’s the university’s way of saying we’re going to hold you to that and make sure that you guys are actually going to do that.”

H: What would you like those whom are not actively involved in Greek life to know about the council or Greek Life as a whole?

IFC: “We’re trying our best to promote it in the ways we know how to. We’re constantly learning. We don’t know the best ways. We’re easily approachable. It’s a new group. Nobody’s got set ways. We’re just trying to figure out what works best, basically.”

Assistant Dean of Student for Greek Life Jerrell Sherman said the actions of Greek organizations reflect upon the entire Greek community.

“Every year, we as a Greek Life staff, along with the national headquarters of Greek organizations, educate Greek Life students on various policies, principles, and procedures they are to adhere to, and it saddens me when students don’t apply what they are taught,” Sherman said in a letter published in The Olympian, SHSU’s official Greek Life newsletter. “When any Greek Life community loses chapters, be it for hazing, risk management violations, low membership or poor grades, it not only is a poor reflection of that particular organization but the entire Greek Life community.”

Sherman promoted the positive things Greek organizations have done under his stewardship, such as raising more than $275,000 for various charities and completing approximately 75,000 hours of community service.

“I take no credit for that, as it has been all of the students’ hard work throughout the years in striving to be more active and positive members of their Greek lettered organizations and in our community,” Sherman said. “These are true examples of great things that can be accomplished when fraternity and sorority life is done right. Our Greek Life staff will continue to work tirelessly to support our Greek lettered organizations in achieving in the classroom and in their extracurricular activities, because we believe that is what makes a well-rounded, positive, contributing member of society.”

Sherman hoped those whom have become disdainful towards Greek life due to the actions of now-suspended chapters will take a second look.

“I ask that anyone that once looked at Greek Life in a great way but may be thinking differently now, not let a few bad apples hurt your view of the entire Greek Life community,” Sherman said. “I also ask those that are interested in Greek Life, please come join us to be innovative members of our organizations and to gain leadership and interpersonal skills for when you graduate and move on into the next phase of your life, as is our goal for all of Greek Life.”

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