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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

External review to examine Greek Life

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PHOTOS: Luke Malanga ’20 and Mitchell Shields ’22

As part of the ongoing assessment of St. Joe’s Greek Life, the Office of Student Life is organizing an external review of all social fraternities and sororities this fall.

The external review will include three professionals, who have ideally worked with Greek Life programs similar to St. Joe’s, to conduct an analysis of the current climate of the Greek community, according to Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D., director of Student Leadership and Activities. As part of this process the three-member panel will meet with all of Greek Life leadership and relevant departments on campus.

“We need to make some changes, we need a stronger culture, we need student culture and organizational culture,” Hagovsky said. “That is going to take some time.”

St. Joe’s is one of about 50% of Jesuit schools to recognize Greek Life organizations on campus, with about 22% of its undergraduate population belonging to a social fraternity or sorority.

There are five social sororities on St. Joe’s campus: Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Phi Sigma Sigma and Sigma Sigma Sigma. There are three social fraternities on St. Joe’s campus: Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Pi.

Hagovsky said Sigma Pi was asked to leave campus for four years this summer as a result of a hazing incident, and three sororities had hearings.

Mike Zocco ’20, president of the St. Joe’s chapter of Interfraternity Council (IFC), a national organization that promotes the advancements of fraternities on college campuses, said the external review has been long overdue.

“I always wanted to join a Greek organization, but I found that there was a little bit of an unorganized feel to it,” Zocco said. “I’ve expressed these opinions before to a lot of people in the Greek world, especially the fraternity world.”

Alaina Boccino ’20, president of Panhellenic Council, which is the governing body of the five sororities on campus, said the external review is necessary to better sororities’ reputations on campus.

“We’re doing this to improve our view with administration and with St. Joe’s as a
whole,” Boccino said. “We’re seen as social organizations that drink and that’s all we do. We’re so much more than that.”

In addition to issues within Greek Life organizations, the university also let go of the assistant director of Student Life and Activities, the main contact for Greek Life organizations on campus, a year after she was hired.

Hagovsky said Student Life and Activities was not able to find a strong pool of candidates to hire over the summer, but plans to hire someone to fill the position after the external review. Hagovsky is taking over the responsibilities of advising Greek Life.

Boccino said she is grateful for Hagovsky’s help with the Greek Life programs.

“We lost our Greek Life advisor going into this year, so we are all so amazed with how much effort she is putting in for us,” Boccino said.

Christopher King ’20, former IFC secretary and member of Lambda Chi Alpha, said he is concerned about the school’s perception of Greek Life.

“They are not giving enough attention to Greek Life, but I don’t think the suspension changed anything for me,” King said. “Because I think that maybe the school doesn’t give us enough attention.”

According to Hagovsky, Student Life and Activities has been considering an external review of Greek Life for a while.

“I just think it’s been a long time since we have really stopped and said, ‘What are we doing in Greek Life? What are we doing within the Greek Life community? Why are we doing it? How are we doing it? And are we doing the best for our students?’” Hagovsky said.

At the conclusion of the review process Hagovsky said she hopes there will be enough time for an open forum for all members of the St. Joe’s community to hear the findings of the review.

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