OPINION: IFC plays important role, protects Greek members

Unrecognition means being cut off from vital Interfraternity Council resources

BRUCE MULMAT, Evergreen columnist

In Greek Life at WSU, the Interfraternity Council is the group that keeps fraternities somewhat in order. However, some people believe the IFC is a puppet institution that allies with the school when dealing with different fraternities’ behavior. This idea is false and IFC does far more to help fraternities than harm them.

These critics don’t consider is how IFC acts as a shield by creating rules that can keep fraternities and the men inside of them out of trouble.

Think of the IFC as an organization that tries to see trouble before it happens and seek to prevent it. Risk management is an incredibly important part of Greek Life, and the IFC is able to coordinate every risk manager and have them all follow the same rules.

Furthermore, IFC does not focus on legal issues, but on how to keep students safe and able to succeed on campus.

“If there is a chapter on social probation, and we catch them hosting an event they would go to our Greek standards board,” IFC President Austin Proteau said. “The punishments are all meant to be educational.”

WSU student conduct is the group that focuses on all Title IX violations as well as hazing because WSU is in charge of disciplining each fraternity or sorority if it is necessary. 

“Any time there is an investigation in student conduct involving an IFC organization and the school makes a ruling, IFC will back it,” Proteau said. 

It may seem to some that IFC is just following in the footsteps of WSU when dealing with issues of student conduct, but at the end of the day WSU can choose whether or not a Greek house can remain a part of the IFC. Following IFC rules can help prevent fraternities from dealing with student conduct.

“If a house loses recognition from the school they lose recognition from IFC,” Proteau said. “Other chapters cannot have events with them and they cannot participate in any events organized by IFC.”

Every house has to have a risk manager in IFC, but an unrecognized house has to rely on their nationals to keep them in check. This means the national organization of a house would be more invested in the house. Which means nationals could possibly be involved with every little detail of an unrecognized house.

Every Greek house’s nationals are different in the way they interact with the chapter and members have various views on how nationals are. Much in the same way IFC can be viewed as somewhat unfavorably by some, nationals can get the same reputation as the “no-fun police.” This means the one group that can be more overbearing that the IFC is now more involved than ever.

However, both organizations help Greek houses avoid problems before they occur. Think of IFC as a regulatory agency, like the FDA, with the intention of protecting people. 

Becoming unrecognized is a pretty big blow to any house, not only for social reasons but also in terms of accountability. IFC is a way for Greeks to police themselves and try to keep everyone safe and successful. Without IFC there wouldn’t be a larger platform to promote each houses philanthropies. This organization is the mouthpiece of a group of people that otherwise would not be as involved with the greater community here at WSU.

Every institution used for oversight can have a reputation for being more annoying than they are helpful, but in the case of WSU Greek life IFC does far more than enforcing the rules. 

In the end, IFC is a good thing and unrecognized houses can prove to be obstacles for student safety.

“Basically all the resources we [IFC] provide to our chapters, they don’t get anymore,” Proteau said.