The Texas State Multicultural Greek Council has found a new home.
The council’s registered student organization status moved from Campus Activities and Student Organizations to the Dean of Students Office, a result of a report conducted last January.
Changes to Texas State greek life have been put into effect following a report conducted by a coalition assessment team last January. Diana Soria, Multicultural Greek Council president, said the team’s investigation concluded more resources and staff are needed in order to improve the university’s greek communities.
Soria said in an email the council is in a “weird spot” since the move.
According to the report, changes to Texas State greek life occur when there is a lack of university and state hazing awareness and education within the fraternity and sorority communities. The communities include more than 1,590 student members.
The coalition assessment team observed inconsistencies in the way hazing is investigated, adjudicated and defined.
These problems may be associated with what the coalition assessment team described as significant discord among Texas State greek chapter members and advisers, as well as university staff and administrators.
Chapters from governing university greek councils, such as Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic, were found not to regularly interact or attend events outside of their respective chapters.
The report concluded only the Multicultural Greek Council, whose membership includes 140 students, and National Pan-Hellenic council members attend one another’s events. They get little support from IFC and Panhellenic members, whose chapters’ recruitment process receives the majority of staff time.
Despite these observations, the coalition assessment team’s report was optimistic and believes the Multicultural Greek Council’s move to the Dean of Students Office may fuel more cross-council collaboration. The move will also provide the organization with trained university staff, guidance and funding.
The coalition assessment team was comprised of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, National Association of Latino/a Fraternal Organizations, National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Panhellenic Conference and North-American Interfraternity Conference members.
According to email correspondence obtained by The University Star, Smith convened a Texas State Greek Life Steering Committee after receiving the report.
A new reporting structure and full-time greek affairs staff have been introduced this year after the committee reviewed the assessment team’s report last June.
Vincent Morton, associate dean of students, has replaced Brenda Rodriguez, LBJ Student Center assistant director, as the Multicultural Greek Council adviser.
Morton’s new role was announced last July in email correspondence between Joanne Smith, vice president for Student Affairs, the Texas State Greek Community Chapter and the Alumnus Advisers national headquarters.
Texas State greek affairs will now report to Morton in the Dean of Students Office. However, Margarita Arellano, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, will have overall administrative responsibility.
Stephanie Tollette, Texas State Panhellenic vice president of recruitment, said new full-time staff positions include a yet-to-be-hired assistant dean of students for greek affairs, two coordinators and an administrative assistant.
The Greek Life Steering Committee formed four subcommittees chaired by Arellano and student affairs staff to better implement the coalition assessment team’s recommendations.
Tollette said the Multicultural Greek Council’s move from CASO to the Dean of Students Office has been an easy fit with other on-campus greek councils.
“It’s really encouraging,” Tollette said. “It shows how much greek life has changed.”
For Tollette, the most difficult part about the move has been with the new Texas State greek affairs staff, who she said may not understand the university’s greek culture.