Dean Michael Citro to leave Office of the Dean of Students

In move to Office of the President, Citro will no longer oversee Student Activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life

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Assistant Dean of Students Michael Citro, director of Student Organization Support, will leave his position at the end of the semester to start a new job in the Office of the President. Citro will cease to oversee Student Activities and Fraternity and Sorority Life and will deal instead with the University’s external relations.

Citro has overseen substantial change in the Office of the Dean of Students in the past seven years.

“Perhaps more than anything, I am proud of the relationships I have been able to develop with students throughout the past seven years,” Citro said in an email. “In both the Fraternity & Sorority Life and Student Activities units, our best work is often accomplished in partnership with students.”

Third-year College student Tommy Reid, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said this cooperative approach made Citro and Matt Ferguson, the assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, effective in their posts, allowing for a healthy relationship between the IFC and administration.

“The IFC uses Dean Citro and Matt Ferguson as mentors and support officers, both on a really personal and a professional level,” Reid said.

Fourth-year College student Eric McDaniel, former Student Council president, said Citro was a mentor and role model.

“Perhaps no one I have worked with has put in longer hours to greater effect in bringing about the best results for students and the University,” McDaniel said in an email. “He is a thoughtful and compassionate advocate for students [and] a deeply moral man. … I cannot wait to hear about the great things I know he will accomplish in his work with the President’s Office in Madison Hall.”

Perhaps most notably in his work in the Office of the Dean of Students, Citro has focused on addressing hazing in fraternity life at the University.

“In the past several years, we have worked diligently to advance a hazing prevention framework that applies to all areas of student life,” Citro said. “Hazing should never be part of a student’s University experience. I have been fortunate to work with both colleagues and student leaders to implement strategic and thoughtful initiatives around the prevention of hazing.”

However, this stance has been viewed by some students as too severe of a crack-down on Greek life. Citro was recently labeled a “tyrant” by the Sons and Daughters of Liberty because of his role in fraternity investigations.

A University fraternity chapter president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said though investigations into the fraternity system have increased in recent years, he said he did not believe Citro was responsible.

“In a broad sense, I think that the way things are now, especially after the Zete thing that happened a few years ago, the administration has faced a lot of pressure to crack down,” the chapter president said. “Things weren’t handled the way they should have been, but it wasn’t necessarily his fault. I think it was probably because of the changing climate surrounding the hazing issue.”

The University chapter of Zeta Psi lost its charter in 2011 after a pledge became seriously ill after he was forced to drink soy sauce. Zeta Psi has still not been granted a fraternal organization agreement by the University, though they became eligible to reapply last fall.

The chapter president said he believed fraternities were getting the message, and though hazing prevention methods have not been met with enthusiasm, the practice has declined significantly.

“They’re making it very clear that if a house wants to keep doing this, things likely aren’t going to end well for them,” he said. “And it’s pretty effective. I know a bunch of houses that have stopped this.”

Citro’s replacement has not yet been announced. Reid said he hopes Citro’s replacement will continue to uphold the University’s values.

“I think the biggest thing we’re looking for is someone who understand student self-governance and student autonomy,” Reid said. “[Someone] who can leverage his or her training and background to help students and the administration grow in unison.”


Published April 17, 2014 in FP test, News





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