Clare Myers, Staff Writer
Last Tuesday, Student Government voted 19-10 to approve an amendment to the bylaws of its constitution that permanently prohibits Greek life at the University of Dallas.
“The Student Government Senate … will not consider or grant a charter to an applying social fraternity or sorority,” the amendment reads.
The vote came as a culmination of nearly two years of controversy over the Christian fraternity Alpha Delta Gamma. The possibility of establishing a chapter of ADG on campus sparked intense debates on the concept of “fraternity” and UD’s identity as a Catholic university. Students, faculty and alumni on both sides of the issue spoke out with a passion rarely seen in the Commentary pages of this newspaper.
“Honestly, I had no idea which way Student Government would lean,” said ADG president Will Remmes. The junior noted that the fraternity had received a great deal of positive feedback in regards to the service work its members have done.
“What it boiled down to is that there’s such a stigma attached to the word ‘fraternity’ at UD,” he said. “It’s hard … to separate the fundamental beauty of a fraternity from the stereotype.”
Reactions to the possibility of Greek life on campus have been mixed.
“There’s a very interesting correlation between the time spent at the University of Dallas and the opposition to Greek life,” said senior class representative Alex Lemke. “Those who have been at the University of Dallas the longest have the least support for Greek life.”
Junior Maggie Krewet felt that the decision reflected the sentiments of the UD community. “I think Student Government voted according to what their constituents wanted,” she said. “I think that was their responsibility.”
Junior Alex Taylor, co-chair of Student Government’s Fraternity Investigatory Committee, agreed. “I think the decision really did reflect the survey data and the opinion of the student body,” Taylor said. “Students were very clear about what they wanted in regards to this issue.”
Sophomore Vinny Romano was ambivalent about SG’s vote to block all fraternities and sororities from forming, but he was clear about his feelings about ADG.
“If Greek life was all over campus I probably wouldn’t be too happy,” he admitted. “But I really like the idea of what this fraternity is doing.” He said he considered joining ADG before the ruling and is still interested in being a part of the organization, even if it is not part of the university.
While the bylaws are still awaiting approval by President Keefe, Remmes says the fraternity is deliberating on its next move. If Keefe approves the amendment, there are essentially two options for the group: The members can form another, non-Greek student organization and continue its activities at UD without the national ADG affiliation; alternately, they can continue as a chapter of the national fraternity without the UD affiliation.
“Fundamentally, nothing has changed,” Remmes said. “We all love what we’re doing. We’ve done a lot of good for the school, and we want to keep doing it.”