Greek Life at CSU has been the subject of great controversy in the past five years. But with the arrival of a new director, the Greek Life office is hoping to turn the tide.
Sonja Jensen, former program director for Greek Life, has been offered and has accepted the recently vacated spot of director.
Mark Koepsell, previous Greek Life Director, left his position to become Executive Director of the Mid American Greek Council Association (MGCA), leaving a need to fill the spot.
A semester long search for a new Director proved fruitless, as hopeful candidates Ryan Williams, of Southern Methodist University, and Kelly Jo Karnes, of Old Dominion University didn’t make the cut.
Current Inter-Fraternity Council President Jarred Quintana said neither candidate was the right fit for CSU Greeks.
“The search committee didn’t feel either candidate fit what the committee was looking for, so they didn’t recommend them to Anne Hudgens (Executive Director Campus Life),” said Quintana.
Quintana said Koepsell always had a bad response from students because he was an authority figure.
“That was an unfair reputation that was gathered and happens to Greek life directors across the nation,” Quintana, a senior finance and real estate major, said.
Instead, Sonja Jensen was offered the position.
Jensen, who has a Masters in student affairs and higher education from Iowa State University, has been the Program Coordinator for Greek Life the past two years.
Caitlin Ireland, a junior speech communications major, said she is happy Jensen will continue to work with the Greeks.
“I think Sonja will be good for the future of Greek life,” Ireland said. “She already has knowledge of our campus and our past and the issues of our community. Most of us already have a relationship with her. We are at a point where we need a positive change.”
During Koepsell’s reign, Greek life had ups and downs most would like to forget. But many of the stories won’t soon be forgotten.
After Samantha Spady died of alcohol poisoning in September 5, 2004, in the Sigma Pi fraternity house, CSU Greek Life was hurdled into the spotlight.
The fraternity Phi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) was kicked off campus after reports of “Rise and Ralph” rituals. During the same investigation, eight other sororities and fraternities were put on various levels of punishment.
Last October, a young girl was taken to the hospital after a party at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. The CSU Greek community later revoked their recognition.
Jensen says she has a few goals for her Greek Life under her leadership, but no drastic changes.
“I think I have one overarching goal which will encompass a lot of little things in a lot of ways,” Jensen said. “It may sound ambiguous. We need a strong supportive sustainable healthy community. It starts at the chapter level. We don’t need new fraternities and sororities each year. We have to take care of them now.”
Three sororities will be coming to CSU this fall. ZETA is a sorority returning to the CSU campus in the fall and will be part of the Panhellenic Council. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated is part of the NPHC. Asian based interest group alpha Kappa Delta Phi is a sorority looking for a council to align with.
“Without sounding cheesy, I am excited for the opportunity for moving forward into all that lies ahead,” Jensen said. “Coming around the curve, we have been through a lot of really hard years. Now we can focus on what it means to be Greek.”
“We have had a tumultuous past but can the turn corner,” she added.
Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.