Knox College’s Greek community was discussed at length during the year’s first Student Life Committee meeting. There are 97 new Greek members, consisting of 63 men and 34 women. This term also marks a large growth in membership for Alpha Sigma Alpha, the school’s newest Greek chapter.
Assistant Director of Campus Life Kathleen Drake, the college’s Greek advisor, described how both fraternities and sororities are revamping their recruitment approaches by reevaluating their respective organizations’ main purpose sand goals to counter negative stereotypes of Greek culture.
More importantly, however, Greek organizations across the board are also enhancing their role in educating students about hazing and alcohol abuse, especially in light of Northern Illinois University’s hazing incident, which resulted in a student death.
Student Senate resident senior Michael Gasparro updated the committee on Senate proceedings, such as a recent Senate special election, the unanimous approval for more funding to go towards cultural events from the student co-curricular fund and the ongoing exploration of a card-swipe system to pay for washer and dryer use.
Senate is also initiating a forum to provide students the opportunity to partake in the current campus-wide discussion regarding Knox’s increased tuition fee. The tuition increase is directly tied to the college’s financial situation and projected $1.2 million deficit.
Instructor in Art Mike Godsil ‘76 addressed how the school’s current financial state affects faculty just as much as students. Possible changes for faculty include a reduction in benefits and the freezing of salaries. In other words, Knox’s financial woes will most definitely be a “shared pain.”
Dean of Students Debbie Southern informed the group about four open administrative positions, which include dean of students (formerly held by Heather Poppy) and the student activities coordinator (formerly held by Jill Gates and currently held by Trish Hurst on a part-time basis).
Southern also mentioned the possibility of hiring a designated school officer to assist international students with F1 visa-related concerns. She sees the reduction in staff as an opportunity to reorganize and improve operations.
Instead of hurriedly seeking to fill positions, Southern is more concerned about ways to improve administrative efficiency through a selective and thorough selection process that addresses the school’s most pressing needs. For instance, she brought up the possibility of hiring an internship coordinator to assist Director of the Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development Terrie Saline.
Another topic discussed was the need to improve communication efforts between students, food service workers and administrators. According to general consensus, there is a growing desire for healthier food options in the cafeteria and Gizmo. Some felt that Director of Dining Services Helmut Mayer has consistently responded to student concerns and requests with inflexibility. It was pointed out, however, that his responses are greatly influenced by financial and contractual limitations.