About Task Force

On March 1, 2013 the SUNY Potsdam President's Council appointed members of a Greek Life Task Force to investigate two specific charges:

  • Charge 1: Should Greek Life continue to have a place at SUNY Potsdam?
  • Charge 2: If so, how can the SUNY Potsdam campus community make changes to strengthen the Greek system and protect the wellbeing of students going forward?

Mission

Recognizing the century-long relationship between the College and Greek organizations, the task force will study what it means to be a fraternity or sorority member at SUNY Potsdam, from the individual, chapter and larger Greek community perspectives. The task force will explore all components of Greek Life at SUNY Potsdam, starting with tradition, leadership development, community service and contributions to the College.

The task force will also review the history of student conduct violations and sanctions related to fraternities and sororities, such as alcohol violations and incidences of hazing. SUNY Potsdam’s deeply held values, as expressed in the Potsdam Pledge, will serve as a guide, with a focus on the College’s top priority—the wellbeing of its students.

In addition, the task force will examine the College's programs and activities that support and govern Greek Life, including the education, regulation and support of individuals and chapters who are members of the Greek community.

The task force will be asked to present both preliminary and final reports to the SUNY Potsdam President’s Council, including recommendations for the future of Greek Life at the College.  Initial recommendations will be submitted at the conclusion of the Spring 2013 semester with final recommendations submitted at the conclusion of the Fall 2013.  The President’s Council will review all recommendations and provide a response to the campus community at the start of the Spring 2014 semester.

Membership

The SUNY Potsdam President’s Council has appointed Dr. Alan Hersker as chair of the College’s Greek Life Task Force. Dr. Hersker, who is chair of the Department of Anthropology, is a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Kappa-Eta Chapter (Widener University), where he served as president for one year. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers-New Brunswick and his Ph.D. in anthropology from American University. Dr. Hersker has been a member of the SUNY Potsdam faculty since 2005.

The other members are as follows:

Faculty/Staff:

  • Kathy O’Rourke, Community Health
  • Romeyn Prescott ’92, Computing & Technology Services
  • Beth Todd, Center for Lifelong Education and Recreation (Alpha Delta Pi)
  • Erin Wilson ’05, Career Planning (Alpha Sigma Tau)

Alumni:

  • Amy Kellogg ’99
  • Peter Galloway ’83 (Prometheus)
  • Glen Zagorski ’87 (Psi Phi)

Students:

  • Robert Barber ’14 (Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia)
  • Sara Behuniak ’14 (Arethusa)
  • Tara Bohon, graduate student

The SUNY Potsdam Greek Life Task Force will ask representatives from across the campus community to serve as resources for their study. For instance, the task force plans to consult with the Student Affairs and Alumni Affairs offices, as well as groups such as the Greek Alumni Council, All Greek Council, Alumni Association, Student Government Association, and others, both on- and off-campus.

We expect that the task force will meet on a bi-weekly basis. Individuals wishing to provide information to the task force about related issues and concerns are encouraged to send them to GreekTaskForce@potsdam.edu

Additionally, the task force will hold at least one open public forum to gather insights and perspectives from the campus and local community. The task force meeting schedule will be determined at the first session.