University President Mark Schlissel discussed controversy surrounding several Greek life ski trips during his monthly fireside chat Monday afternoon.

During the chat, Schlissel presented the roughly 30 students in attendance with a question of his own.

“A couple of the fraternities and sororities on the January break, the MLK weekend break, did some mayhem at some resorts they were staying at,” Schlissel said. “How do we set up a culture where there are ways to have a good time without being criminal?”

Engineering senior David Hershey said Central Student Government’s push for a student honor code could be one solution. The honor code would serve as an addition to the Statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities, aiming to hold students to a higher standard of integrity and respect.

“The attempt behind it is to make it so that students are accountable to their fellow students to some extent,” he said. “At some basic level we all want the face of the University to be a positive one because our future is based upon this university.”

Engineering sophomore Evan Field, president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, voiced his support for the sanctions recently placed on several fraternities and sororities, but said educational initiatives should be central to disciplinary processes going forward.

Schlissel agreed, but also stressed that concrete penalties become necessary at a certain point.

“I think everything we do here should be educational,” Schlissel said. “But, when you cross some kind of line to behavior that I think would be characterized as criminal behavior, then the balance between punishment and education changes a little bit. And I think that’s an important aspect of education, too.”

Schlissel said there has been discussion about delaying rush by at least one semester to allow students to form friendships outside of Greek life. However, the idea has been met with resistance from those who say it will encourage more open parties during the first semester.

LSA sophomore Matt Fidel, The Team’s candidate for CSG vice president who attended the chat, said he thought the problem of students struggling to form a broad array of friendships stretches beyond Greek life.

“I think the problem here is that people come to campus and they immediately self-select, so it’s very easy to put the blame on Greek life and frats in general,” Fidel said. “But I think that, like you said, 80 percent of students aren’t in Greek life, but they still self-select.”

Fidel also presented questions to Schlissel about what student leaders could do to foster a more diverse campus.

“As student leaders what can we do to help increase minority enrollment?” Fidel said. “I know things like on-site admissions and pipeline programs get talked about a lot … I want to hear what your opinions on programs like that are.”

Though Schlissel acknowledged that outreach programs are important, he said student leaders should focus on creating a more welcoming campus.

“What else can we do together so that you can honestly say to a student from an underrepresented group, ‘Hey, you could fit in here, you could learn here, you could be respected here,’?” he said.

However, Schlissel said it is important for the University to reach out to in-state students who come from communities that do not see the University as accessible. He said he plans to visit high schools in places like Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo to invite local students to apply to the University.

“This is their university, this is the state of Michigan’s university, and they should feel as much ownership and as much right to apply, and be considered and to come here as anybody else,” he said.

Several students voiced concerns about the quality of life on North Campus, a complaint which Schlissel said he has discussed at nearly every fireside chat to date.

“The residential life is in the midst of a 10- or 15-year effort to really upgrade residential life, living and eating on campus,” he said. “The next frontier is the North Campus.”

Schlissel said the next meeting of the University’s Board of Regents will devote time to focusing on how to improve residential life on North Campus.

“The ultimate goal is to make the North Campus as dense and vibrant as the Central Campus, and to have the businesses surrounding North Campus sort of grow up in a way that living up there won’t require you to be down here to socialize,” he said.

E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life, who also participated in the discussion, addressed the on-campus housing shortages that have plagued the University for several years due to large incoming freshman classes.

Harper said the renovations to residential communities on campus are part of the effort to alleviate the housing shortage problem.

The problem tends to affect upperclassmen who want to live on campus after their freshman year. In recent years, many upperclassmen applying for on-campus housing are given the Northwood apartments as their only residential option.

“The design is not to have anyone in Northwood that doesn’t want to be in Northwood because it doesn’t create the sense of community,” she said.

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