ISC responds to Change.org petition

ISC executive board leaves decisions on absences for Women’s March on Washington up to individual chapters

nsiscweck

Individual sorority chapters are allowed to make individual decisions with whether or not their members can be fined to attend the Women's March on Washington.   

Wyatt Eck | Cavalier Daily

The Inter-Sorority Council has responded to the Change.org petition requesting the ISC allow sorority women to forgo the Preference round of recruitment for the Women’s March on Washington. Due to individual chapters’ different bylaws, the ISC said chapter leadership will ultimately decide how to handle recruitment absences due to the march.

In a statement sent to ISC members, the ISC executive board said while the march’s goals align with those of the ISC, it cannot make a blanket pardon for all members.

“The ISC encourages chapter leadership and chapter members to work together towards creative solutions such as asking members who attend the march to provide service hours to the chapter in lieu of fines or find some other way for members to make up what they’ve missed,” the statement read.

Second-year College student Claire Golladay, the creator of the Change.org petition, said chapters such as Kappa Kappa Gamma and her own chapter, Delta Delta Delta, have allowed members to attend the march in lieu of recruitment.

“[Delta Delta Delta] said that all of its members can go without penalty,” Golladay said. “I was going to go anyway, but now that they said that we can all go, I definitely am.”

Chapters such as Kappa Delta and Gamma Phi Beta, however, are obliged to fine members due to their national bylaws.

Currently, the ISC has no estimate of how many members may be choosing to forgo recruitment, with or without the risk of being fined. Incoming ISC president Rory Finnegan, a third-year College student, reiterated the chapters will be responsible for member absences.

“We have no way of knowing those numbers,” Finnegan said in an email statement. “Excuses for chapter members are managed by chapter nationals or chapter leadership.”

As for the potential effect on rushees’ interactions during recruitment, Finnegan said potential new members are not formally prohibited from talking about politics or the Women’s March on Washington. She said the ISC executive board does not know what is said during recruitment conversations unless something disrespectful or rude is reported.

“There are no formal guidelines created by the ISC in regards to what women can discuss during recruitment — except men and alcohol, which [National Panhellenic Conference] policy states should not be included in our recruitment processes,” Finnegan said.

The ISC finished its statement reiterating its support of women’s unity, but with the reminder its stance on the march is not due to political bias.

“Our support of the March in Washington and alternative march on Grounds is not politically motivated,” the statement read. “The ISC represents a diverse set of political perspectives, but stands in solidarity for the sisterhood of women, both now and in the future.”

The ISC and several other organizations are planning to hold a separate University March for Women Jan. 24.

In response to a request for comment, the University chapter of Gamma Phi Beta deferred to Gamma Phi Beta’s international headquarters on Friday. The Cavalier Daily contacted the sorority’s headquarters late Friday afternoon and will update this article should they respond.

The Cavalier Daily has reached out to the chapter presidents of Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Delta, as well as the ISC’s executive vice president of recruitment and Pi Chi directors. This article will be updated with any additional comments should they respond.

This article has been updated to include the University chapter of Gamma Phi Beta's response to a request for comment.

related stories