IFC establishes diversity chair

In an effort to revamp its minority recruitment efforts, the Inter-Fraternity Council passed a resolution Thursday to create the position of diversity outreach chair on its 16-member executive board.

By a unanimous vote, the IFC Presidents Council passed the resolution, which takes effect today, IFC President Ryan Ewalt said.

"The position will focus specifically on recruiting within the minority population at the University," Ewalt said. "He will serve as the liaison between us and the minority community, and that's a place where we can really increase collaboration and communication."

The resolution also dissolves the position of intramural sports chair and reassigns those duties to the inter-Greek relations chair.

The diversity outreach chair will be elected at the IFC's yearly elections in mid-February and will take office March 1.

The position will be for a motivated individual, IFC Vice President for Membership Greg Moore said.

"We would like to reach out and work with minority groups," Moore said.

The new position's main goal is increased minority recruitment, said Tripp Johnson, IFC vice president for party patrol and committees.

Johnson said the idea stemmed from a meeting he had with Dean of Students Penny Rue at the beginning of his term on the IFC executive board last spring.

Racially-charged incidents during the 2002-2003 school year, including the alleged attack on then-Student Council presidential candidate Daisy Lundy and the "blackface" incident at a fraternity Halloween party, brought diversity to the forefront of many organizations' agendas.

"Diversity has been a big issue, and I started to think of things [the IFC] can do to be proactive," Johnson said.

Although specific duties of the diversity outreach chair have not yet been outlined, he will be responsible for coordinating events such as minority rush information sessions and similar minority recruitment efforts.

"We want to strengthen the relationship between the Greek system and minority students," Johnson said. "There's a lot of misinformation and stereotypes about the Greek system, and this will help dispel some of those and build better relationships."

Ewalt, who authored the resolution, addressed the importance of diversity both within and outside of the Greek system.

"The IFC sees the importance of diversity, not just to the Greek system, but to the University as a whole," Ewalt said. "The creation of this position shows the direction we would like to go and how much we value diversity."

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