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Barron, Sims Slow Task Force Formation To Ensure ‘Comprehensive’ Representation

After announcing the creation of a task force that will evaluate Greek life at Penn State, President Eric Barron and the university have received numerous offers and nominations from individuals and groups alike to take part in the initiative, according to Penn State News. Barron, along with Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims, have heard from dozens of individuals and organizations seeking representation in the review process.

“We are certainly pleased by the interest shown. It demonstrates the importance of this process and an interest in strengthening our fraternity and sorority community for positive change,” said Sims, who will lead the task force, in the article. “It offers us considerable confidence that the right group and process will bring together the best thinking to achieve the improvements we seek.”

Though Barron originally intended for the announcement of membership in the task force to be made this week, he cited a need to “ensure good outcomes,” slowing the assembly of the group slightly in order to form a team that is knowledgeable and appropriately represents the situation. Barron and Sims insist the group include participation from students, alumni, national fraternity and sorority organizations, faculty, administrators, and local leaders and residents.

Due to the nature of the project, Barron is insistent that the students who make up part of the task force represent a mix of both fraternity and sorority members as well as non-Greek affiliated students. The president is aware that it may be difficult to recruit theses groups this late in the spring semester, but stressed that their input, insight, and feedback are a critical component of any report or recommendations that may come of the task force.

While some recommendations may emerge quickly from the work of the task force, both Barron and Sims recognize that the charge of the effort is broad, and that some proposals can only be accomplished over time to ensure that all bases are covered thoroughly.

“We are eager to formally launch this examination and will do so as quickly as possible without compromising the intent and integrity of our commitment,” Barron said. “This is not a sprint to the finish and we are determined to gather the input and information needed to ensure this review is thoughtful, comprehensive and complete.”

Additionally, the task force is expected to address issues found at Penn State Commonwealth Campuses as well as University Park, meaning that representation from these groups will be necessary as well.

“We hope to advance the progress and success of the fraternities and sororities associated with Penn State as expeditiously as we can,” Sims said. “With that end in mind, this process will begin soon and continue as long as it is required. We look forward to the recommendations that result.”

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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