Legislative Council ponders “A Bill for Fair and Equal Access” in light of fraternities’ complaints
The sky is falling on UCSU.
In a drastic move, Inter-fraternity Council President and UCSU Legislative Council Vice President Chris Kline recently proposed a bill that threatens to close the doors of the university’s cost centers unless the fraternities are given the same privileges as an official student group.
|>> GREEK-AFFILIATED MEMBERS OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
– BRANDON SPRINGER
Kline and the IFC are setting the stage for a major coup to retake some of their lost power.
If approved and no administrative intervention takes place, this legislation would close all non-compliant UCSU cost centers. The problem that directors face is that as university employees, compliance is not an option.
“What do they think students are supposed to do? They are jeopardizing healthcare, and they are jeopardizing the lifeblood of the student center. They are putting the interests of fewer than 1,000 against the well-being of 28,000 students that go here,” said Bronson Hilliard, CU’s Director of Media Relations.
Kline titled his bill, “A Bill for Fair and Equal Access.” Its purpose, according to the document, “is to resolve the current situation (between the university and IFC) and avoid future hostile discrimination towards any student group.” The bill also looks to reinforce that “Legislative Council may instruct UCSU cost centers on budgetary and programmatic access.”
Kline did not return phone calls for comment.
If UCSU cost centers such as Wardenburg, the Student Recreation Center, and the UMC fail to meet the terms of this bill, they face grievous financial consequences upon the bill’s passage.
UMC director Carlos Garcia and employees of the other campus cost centers are fearful of these repercussions.
“I’m very disappointed the UMC is being held hostage; we had nothing to do with this policy. We didn’t create this policy,” Garcia said. “We are being put in middle, used as pawns. It’s unfair; we did nothing.”
The concepts of the legislation are rooted in the events of spring 2005.
The university required fraternities and sororities to sign the Registered Fraternal Organization agreement that would require a resident to live in the Greek buildings, among other restrictions. While the Panhellenic Council, the organization representing CU’s sororities, signed the bill, the IFC refused and consequently lost affiliation with the university, including facility access.
“We came to the IFC with a proposal that was about protecting their members and the community at large; it is not something that was meant to be punitive in nature. It was to get things under control after repeated incidents, fraternity incidents and house closures,” Hilliard said.
“I don’t believe that (the authors of the bill) are justified,” said John Henderson, CU’s director of Greek life. “If you look back to the agreement made in spring 2005, the student leadership at the time agreed that (it) was the right policy decision.”
Henderson said he felt that the bill does not accurately describe the matter at hand.
“The bill’s history doesn’t sufficiently present the Registered Fraternal Organization agreement,” he said. “It does not mention the specific details of the agreement that really are about standards and expectations for the Greek community that are in many ways aligned with the National Inter-fraternity Council.”
“Any cost center that has not been certified to be in compliance with this legislation, shall not be awarded an SOR (Supplemental Operational Reserve) request or any other monetary allocation from the UCSU Finance Board,” the bill states.
Without SOR funds, the cost centers will be without a cache of extra funds used to cover expenses outside of the budget. This would be accompanied by a lack of any formal financial support by the University.
The university administration and the UCSU work autonomously in budget affairs under the UCSU-Chancellor Agreement. However, according to the agreement, Chancellor Bud Peterson does have final authority over how campus money is used.
“Our hope is that rather than involving the Chancellor in a special interest legislation, the combined wisdom of the student body will get involved; the last thing that the chancellor wants to do is get involved in an unnecessary conflict,” Hilliard said.
The escapades of the IFC and UCSU Legislative Council will be continued Thursday at 7 p.m. in the UMC, at their weekly meetings. This meeting is open to the public.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Amanda Pehrson at Amanda.Pehrson@thecampuspress.com or Staff Writer Brandon Springer at Brandon.Springer@thecampuspress.com.