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Fraternities Move To Form Interfraternity Council

As the number of fraternities at the College continues to grow, a group of the unrecognized social organizations are finalizing a set of bylaws to form a interfraternity council that would coordinate event scheduling and further centralize their operations.

Over the last year, leaders of Harvard’s fraternities have discussed introducing an interfraternity council to campus. The negotiations come as the presence of Greek life at Harvard expands, recently with the reintroduction of Kappa Sigma fraternity last year and the October formation of a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity “colony” on campus.

Various leaders from individual fraternities at the College would comprise the body, according to the most updated copy of its bylaws that Jimmie Hill ’18, the president of Harvard DKE, shared with The Crimson. The council would have six officers—a president, vice president, administrator, recruitment coordinator, events coordinator, and athletic coordinator—serving year-long terms. Member fraternities would rotate occupation of the president position, according to the bylaws, which are subject to change, according to Jason A. Solis ’16, the president of Harvard’s chapter of fraternity Sigma Chi.

Inter-fraternity Council
The Sigma Chi fraternity house in Cambridge.

At least two of Harvard’s fraternities, Sigma Chi and DKE, have formally approved the interfraternity council’s bylaws, according to Solis and Hill. Kappa Sigma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, meanwhile, have yet to approve the bylaws, according to their respective presidents, Pieter J. Zenner ’17 and Henry J. Limitone ’16, who both praised the centralized body.

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Daniel E. Silberwasser ’16, the president of Harvard’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, declined to comment.

Solis said he hopes interested parties will formally establish the council by next semester.

Interfraternity councils exist on other campuses and are often advised by administrators. Solis said the organization at Harvard is an effort to unite the growing prominence of Greek life at the College.

“We see Greek life really expanding here on campus, and we felt that…this would be something that would help organization,” Solis said.

The interfraternity council, as described in the bylaws, would bring more regulation to how individual fraternities operate. The council’s recruitment coordinator would ensure that individual fraternity recruitment events do not overlap, and an athletic coordinator would organize intramural sports competitions among the fraternities.

Member fraternities would pay yet-to-be-determined dues based on the size of their individual memberships, Solis said. The officers would convene at least monthly, and a fraternity would face a $10 fine for every council meeting to which it did not send a representative, as stipulated in the bylaws.

Leaders of various fraternities on campus said the potential introduction of an interfraternity council would reduce scheduling conflicts and potentially increase their memberships. “It allows us to reach out to [many] more students, be much more visible,” Hill said.

The College does not recognize Greek organizations, meaning that unlike interfraternity councils at other schools, it is unlikely that administrators will be directly involved with the body.

Associate Dean of Student Life David R. Friedrich wrote in an email that “since the College doesn't recognize fraternities or sororities, we wouldn't institutionalize something like an inter-fraternity council.”

—Staff writer Noah J. Delwiche can be reached at noah.delwiche@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @ndelwiche

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