Oct 232007
Authors: Ashley Emmons

From dealing with minor issues about how to pay for the office to having houses relocate on campus, the Greek Life office has experienced many changes.

The office is still young, built in 1974, when compared to CSU’s first fraternity Sigma Nu, which joined campus in 1915.

The Greek Life Office started with the passing of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination against a person’s sex in an educational institution.

Sonia Immasche, a volunteer for CSU, was the first adviser that the Greeks had at CSU.

“The university was determined that within a year the adviser for the sororities would also advise the fraternities so that it would be equal,” Immasche said.

One of the first things the Greek Life Office helped start was the homecoming parade in 1976, which has been running every since.

In 1983 the separation of the Student Center from the Housing and Dining Services created budget issues. The solution was to terminate Greek Life.

“Greek students spoke up and said that they needed an advisor and were willing to pay to keep the position,” Immasche said.

The position was kept and the Greek community funded 70 percent of the Greek Life budget, which was about $10,000 per year.

Sara Litherland, a junior speech communication major and vice president of recruitment for Panhellenic Council, said that the Greek Life Office is helpful for all students.

“It is a huge resource for Greek students and non-Greek students about events going on, community service activities and any Greek activities,” Litherland said.

In 1987 the Greek Life Office was moved to a different office in the Lory Student Center (LSC). At the time the Greek Life’s relationship with the University administration was unstable. The director of the LSC created a task force to evaluate that relationship and figure out what needed to be changed. The task force came up with 40 recommendations to improve Greek Life, including the increase in staff support and development of new programs.

As years went by Greek Life worked on achieving those recommendations to make the Greek organizations and their relationship with the University better. In 1993 a task force was once more created because the Greek community did not have positive support from the University administration. The task force looked at how the Greek community had progressed since 1987 and what the Greek community needed to help it’s future.

The main suggestion was that the Greek Life Office needed a director. The first official director of Greek Life was Peter Smithhisler who received the position in 1995. His job was to develop leadership, create new programs and have an emphasis on student leadership and self-governance in Greek Life.

Sonja Jensen, director of Greek Life said the purpose of the Greek Life Office is to help out the different groups in Greek.

“We are here to make sure that they are being safe and complying with the university rules,” Jensen said. “Our overall goal is growth and development, but underneath that we try to help with education and outreach.”

Reporter Ashley Emmons can be reached at news@collegian.com

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