Ban of Welcome Week events angers students

Butler University’s 150 student organizations were banned from hosting events during Welcome Week, causing some controversy among organizations that say they were singled out.

Becky Druetzler, director of Greek affairs and orientation programs, sent an email to all Greek house presidents on campus informing them that student organizations were not allowed to sponsor events before the academic year began.

Some in the Greek community felt they were targeted since the email was not sent to all student organization presidents.

“I found out about it because it was sent on our Listserv,” said sophomore Abby Miller, a member of Tri Delta sorority. “But it does seem strange that they would just send the email to Greeks when it applies to everyone.”

“I think it is really stupid that Greeks are being singled out for trying to have a bigger presence on campus,” sophomore Cameron Sage, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, said. “We should have a choice to have events at our houses whenever we want.”

Druetzler said that the email was sent to the social Greek houses, not to target them, but just to remind them of the rules and to help freshmen entering Butler.

“The rule is in place because we want the new class to be participating in all of the same events and activities as the rest of the students,” Druetzler said.

Dean of Student Life Irene Stevens said the policy has been in place for at least 15 years and the rule serves to protect freshmen.
“We do not want a division of activities but instead want everything focused on freshmen,” Stevens said. “We want to help them in their transition by letting them get acclimated as a group.”

Freshman international studies major Maisie DeMass said the administration did a good job of helping her transition from high school and meet people during Welcome Week.

“The whole week we were encouraged by everyone to get involved and to get out and meet people,” DeMass said.

“When the activities they had scheduled for us in the day were over, we still had enough time to walk around campus and meet people.”

Caroline Huck-Watson, director of the PuLSE office said the rule is also to help student organizations themselves.

“If some groups started having events for new students before others, then it would not be fair to other groups,” Huck-Watson said. “So we say, ‘Let’s just have Block Party be the first event for all organizations and start recruiting at the same time to provide an even playing field’.”

he process in which organizations have to reserve space to hold an event is why some were notified and others were not, Huck said.
“To do an event, a group has to fill out a reservation form so we’d know if they were having an event,” Huck said. “Greek houses do not do that because usually if they were to have an event, it would be in their house, so they would not have to fill out a form.”

While the social Greek houses on campus were contacted about the Welcome Week event ban, other professional Greek organizations did not receive the email.

Tau Beta Sigma, a band sorority, held an organizational meeting before Block Party and a rush event for interested members last Saturday.

Junior Katie Bolinger, TBS vice president for membership, said the ban on events would have caused an inconvenience for the organization.

“We had to make plans for the year, so if we could not have met then, we wouldn’t have been able to meet before classes got started and everyone got busy,” Bolinger said.

Huck-Watson also said that there could possibly be an exception to the rule.

“We have to approach it as it comes,” Huck said. “We would have to see what exactly the group wants to do, and then we can have conversations to try to make it work. We would have to see if only current members are involved, and timing and space matters, too. It all just depends.”

Huck said, ultimately, the rules are in place to help students.

“We want to give students the opportunity to get involved,” Huck said. “We have about 150 student organizations so students can find something they like.

What is unique about Butler is there is always the opportunity that if someone is passionate about something and cannot find what they are looking for, they can start something new.”