The annual Mud Bowl competition gives fraternity and sorority members a chance to showcase their dedication to their chapter. But at this year’s game, one competitor stood out from the rest.
After suffering a foot injury,Public Policy junior Ari Parritz continued to participate and cheer on his team members, despite his pain.
Starting this semester, Parritz will bring that dedication to the Interfraternity Council, the group responsible for governing most campus fraternities, as its new president. Parritz said his main goals as IFC president will be to create a safer social scene and better integrate the Greek community into the rest of campus.
Before taking on the role of IFC president, Parritz headed up the University chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi. During his term as AEpi president Parritz found permanent housing for the fraternity and collaborated with other organizations on campus. These collaborations are something that Parritz said he wants to continue as IFC president.
“We’re going to move away from an isolationist community,” Parritz said. “We want to push the two together to have our members identify with being not only members of the Greek community but also members of the University community.”
Jason Rosenblatt, the IFC’s new executive vice president, said Parritz is the perfect person to make the Greek community a more integral part of the University.
“Of all the people I met in the Greek community he has the greatest vision of how we can work together to improve the vision of the greater community,” Rosenblatt said of Parritz.
One way Parritz hopes to increase collaboration is by continuing the Lambda Alliance, a group made up of the four Greek councils and representatives of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Commission on the Michigan Student Assembly. The group was formed last year in order to increase support within the Greek community for the LGBT community.
In addition to working with other groups on campus, Parritz said another one of his goals is to make fraternity parties safer for both Greeks and non-Greeks. He said he plans to do this by working with University Health Service to better educate sober monitors — fraternity brothers who are required to remain sober at fraternity parties to oversee the party’s safety.
“It’s up to our executive board to use these tools to continue to make our social scene safer. That’s what they associate with Greeks. The safer it is, the greater it is,” Parritz said.
Last year, the IFC attempted to enforce a bring-your-own-alcohol policy, which required partygoers to bring their own alcohol to fraternity parties if they wanted to drink. Parritz said the BYOA policy didn’t receive wide support from IFC chapters despite concerted efforts made by the former executive board to implement the policy. He said the new executive board won’t eliminate the policy completely. Instead, he said it will take a different approach to implementing social responsibility policies.
LSA senior Jose Nunez, the outgoing IFC president, said he expects Parritz to handle issues of social responsibility differently than he did.
“Ari’s board will likely continue the discussion on how to make our community safer, however, I expect he will focus on a more educational-based approach, whereas I focused more on an enforcement/policy-based approach,” Nunez said in an e-mail interview.
Besides increasing education, Parritz said he wants to involve the Panhellenic Association, the uniting council for 15 sororities on campus, in social responsibility policy decisions, too.
“Having their support is really important and valuable to us,” Parritz said of the Panhellenic Association.
In addition to working closer with the other Greek councils, Parritz said he wants to improve relations within the IFC. To this end, Parritz and Rosenblatt are implementing a new performance plan aimed to help individual chapters achieve their goals.