Baker’s Button Says Easy, But His Job Isn’t

The Collegian ran a profile today of Roy Baker, the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

This was the lede,

When students take a seat in Roy Baker’s office, they might be surprised by what he has on his desk.

Baker, director of fraternity and sorority life, is a proud owner of a Staples Easy Button.

“It’s kind of a symbol that when students come in here with a problem I usually hit the Easy Button and say, ‘That wasn’t so hard was it?’ ” Baker said.

If we came to Baker with a problem and he responded to us like that, it might push our buttons. But the rest of the profile was encouraging. We support the Greek system reform that Baker is pushing for

Get more analysis after the jump.

The Collegian’s feature on Baker highlighted some of his most notable accomplishments

Before Baker attended UVa-Wise, there were no Greek organizations at the university, but while he was there, he helped start a chapter of Tau Beta Chi.

He was also instrumental in the creation of a Plan for Prominence for the Greek system at Bucknell while he was associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority life from 1996 to 2002. This paragraph is taken from the background section of that document.

Fraternities and sororities at Bucknell have been and continue to be an important part of the undergraduate experience for many students. The potential benefits of participation are substantial, notwithstanding recent lapses in behavior. To ensure its continued viability, however, the Bucknell fraternity and sorority community must embrace a vision that stresses support for the University’s academic mission, attention to the founding principles of national organizations, and members’ development intellectually, socially and ethically.

As you can see, their situation was similar to how our situation is now. Baker hopes our Greek community can improve just as Bucknell’s did.

“I have a vision as everybody does when they come to a new system,” he said. “All I can do is share that vision.”

Baker’s vision includes increased membership, stabilized fraternities and sororities, increased accountability, significant alumni involvement, safe social events and a strong community presence.

In the article, Baker says that the extent to which his vision is met will depend on the students. Moreover, his vision is rooted in the Greek Pride Initiative that was begun in 2005, before he was hired, by former Vice President of Student Affairs Vicky Triponey. President Spanier described the initiative in a speech he gave that same year.

Members of our Greek organizations signed a shared statement of what they hoped for the future, not only for their individual fraternity or sorority, but for the entire Penn State Greek community. The statement confidently asserts that by 2014, the fraternities and sororities of Penn State will be heralded as the premiere Greek community in the nation. Greeks at Penn State also pledged to create a better university by creating a better Greek experience.

It’s a bold goal that will be difficult to achieve.

We think that the Greek system has inherent merit, and hope that Baker and the newly elected IFC President Luke Pierce can achieve success. But, regardless of how effective they are, we will be covering it anyway.

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