Citing dissimilar interests and frustration over tactics,
Student Voices in Action and the Greek Taskforce both said its
members will no longer work alongside one another when engaging
University administrators to protest changes and cuts to student
services.

Leaders of the Greek community said SVA’s
“rude” addresses to administrators and an agenda with
little in common convinced them to stop working with SVA, while
representatives of the new student activist group said the
Greeks’ mission proved too narrow for SVA’s
multifaceted plan.

The break marks the end of a short-lived coalition between SVA
and the task force — comprised of three to five members of
each fraternity and sorority on the Interfraternity Council and the
Panhellenic Association — that sought greater student input
in potential administrative changes to many student services and
programs.

The affected programs include the Greek system, the Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and the Office of
Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs.

“Their ultimate endeavors are not our concern,” said
LSA junior Nate Stormzand, a member of the task force and president
of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He described SVA’s pursuits as mainly
“financial.”

In recent meetings with Vice President for Student Affairs E.
Royster Harper, the Greek Taskforce has urged the administration to
refrain from instituting a host of possible changes to the
community, such as mandatory live-in advisors in fraternity houses
and a deferred rush schedule.

Stormzand said the decision to break from SVA followed a meeting
with administrators at the William Monroe Trotter House on Monday,
which he said “lacked a sense of professionalism and was
rather rude.” At the meeting, several students barraged
administrators with demands for changes to programs and services,
some of which administrators consented to in a statement sent to
SVA Wednesday.

Stormzand said while task force members want to negotiate with
administrators over the course of several meetings about the
proposed changes, SVA members have demanded immediate changes to an
array of student services.

“SVA said, ‘No we don’t want to meet with
(administrators), we want you to meet our demands, no questions
asked,’ ” Stormzand said.

LSA sophomore Jacob Strumwasser, president of Sigma Nu,
acknowledged a lack of consultation between SVA and the task force
as to how the meeting would proceed.

“The representatives of the Greek community may not have
been fully briefed on the format of the meeting, and as well as we
may have not have briefed SVA on our interpretation of how the
meeting would go down,” Strumwasser said.

But SVA member Harlyn Pacheco, an Engineering junior, said his
group has always been willing to discuss proposed changes. He added
that the task force and SVA have similar aims.

“They’re overall the same goal,” he said.
“Everybody’s still working on their specific issues,
that’s just how you go.”

“The coalition was trying to include the Greek community
along with all the other communities,” LSA junior Stephanie
Chang, an SVA member, said. “All issues relate to student
services.”

Of Monday’s meeting, Chang said, “It might have come
off as rude, but our intentions were really to get direct responses
on our demands.”

Other members of SVA and the Greek system said despite the gaps
between the details of the groups’ goals, each organization
is committed to the same general vision: the improvement of student
life.

While SVA’s tactics in Monday’s meeting may have
been controversial, members of the Greek community have themselves
reacted overzealously during meetings with administrators,
Strumwasser said. During the past six weeks, several leaders of the
Greek system have engaged Harper to protest the changes her office
have proposed to the system.

“With the forums, yes, it was intense,” Strumwasser
said, adding that Harper had presented a plan to the administration
with no student input. “There were parts of the proposal that
had to be called out.”

He added that the task force’s departure from the
coalition will not result in the end of negotiations with the
administration. Rather, Strumwasser said the “lines of
communication are still open” between the administration and
the Greek community.

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