The Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate declared its support for the university’s Greek community in a resolution on Sunday night, acknowledging the contributions of fraternities and sororities while calling attention to the interests that those groups share with the Senate.
The resolution, which passed with zero “no” votes and three abstentions, stated that the Senate “strongly supports the efforts of the [Inter-Greek Council (IGC)] and the Greek community as a whole to strengthen the image of Greek life at Tufts and to develop leaders that can better the Tufts community.”
Jake Maccoby, the president of the IGC and a former senator, submitted the resolution last week on behalf of his council. He told the Daily that he put it forward to get an “affirmation” of the Greek community’s values from the Senate, as well as to show that Tufts’ greater “Greek family” contributes heavily to the student body as a whole.
“What this resolution was about was getting our goals, our plans and what we believe in as a family out there in front of the wider Tufts community,” said Maccoby, who is also an editorialist for the Daily. “The Greek community is a subset of the wider Tufts community.”
Before passing the resolution, senators clarified that the document would not obligate the body to provide any specific form of aid or commit to a particular project.
Dan Pasternack, a sophomore senator and a co-chair of the Senate’s Student Outreach Committee, said that specific undertakings by the Senate are outside the parameters of the resolution. “This proposal was just asking for our general support. It wasn’t necessarily that we were unwilling to [commit to certain projects]; it was just that there wasn’t anything [specific put forward] at the moment,” he said.
TCU Associate Treasurer Lauren Levine said, “Really, the resolution was just saying that we support whatever the IGC does.”
“It was really just a memento of our support, not really pledging any physical action,” said Levine, a sophomore and a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
Both the resolution and supporters of the document pointed to the fact that about one-eighth of students belong to Greek organizations. Moreover, the resolution pointed out that “many members of the Greek community take on other leadership positions in the Tufts community.”
President of the Panhellenic Council Jessica Snow said that the Senate’s declaration of support would help strike down stereotypes of Greeks. Snow, a senior who is also the IGC’s vice president and public relations director, said she hopes that in the future, Greeks will not be seen as a separate, disengaged part of the student body.
“We’ve been doing really good things for a long time, and it’s sad that [the Tufts] community hasn’t had the opportunity to see those things as much as we would like them to,” said Snow, a sister in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. “We’ve always been promoting philanthropy, we’ve always been promoting sisterhood and brotherhood [and] we’ve always been promoting community. The resolution is about making sure everyone around us knows that these things are important to us.”
Levine shared those sentiments. “I supported [the resolution] because I think that the Greek system does have a bad reputation on Tufts’ campus that isn’t necessarily deserved,” she said. “The resolution highlighted the number of leaders within the Greek community and the many philanthropic events held every year.”
Nine fraternities and three sororities have chapters at Tufts.