Of the 150 student organizations at Butler University, only Greek organizations were reminded to not host any events during Welcome Week, which has caused more shock and surprise than Welcome Week itself.
Greek presidents received an email from Becky Druetzler, director of Greek affairs and orientation programs, dictating that the houses were not to have any social events of a formal or informal nature so that freshmen could remain focused on the events of Welcome Week.
We at The Butler Collegian find this move by the administration to be brash and unnecessary.
Irene Stevens, dean of student life, said this policy has been in place for at least the last 15 years and applies to all organizations.
While the administration argues that the rule exists to keep freshmen focused on the campus, it seems contradictory to the close atmosphere that Butler is known for.
It is claimed that the email was sent specifically to Greek houses to “remind them” of the rules, even though it reads more like an accusation.
It is unacceptable that only Greek organizations were reminded. It makes it seem as though the only organizations corrupting freshmen during Welcome Week are Greek houses.
In addition, multiple student organizations—apart from Greek houses—use the first week of classes to recruit new members.
The fact that the Welcome Week rule has been in place for 15 years is superfluous because the university is blatantly preventing student organizations from meeting and organizing before the school year starts. The hindrance of any student organization—including Greeks—during Welcome Week is not only preposterous but also counterproductive. It’s time for the rule to change.
The administration encourages freshmen to become immersed in Butler’s culture but then pulls the opportunistic rug from beneath their feet by prohibiting student organizations from meeting.
Butler can’t have its cake and eat it too in this case. The administration can’t deny Greek houses and student organizations the right to meet but overwhelmingly endorse Welcome Week activities. They need to maintain consistency in their decision-making across the board.
How does Butler expect student groups to portray a welcoming and diverse image to freshmen if they were never allowed the opportunity to organize and prepare for Welcome Week?
The free time students have the week before classes is a rare commodity. Everyone’s schedule aligns more easily than when groups are forced to wait until classes start. Then schedules become hectic and groups have to exchange productive meetings for hurried rendezvous.
Student groups need more than a few harried hours before Block Party to organize and assemble their organization. The administration should understand that student organizations will not lure freshmen away from Welcome Week. If anything, these organizations would help students acclimate to the university faster.
Student organizations also have to arrange to save an event space for any reason, whereas Greek houses can avoid this rule. During Welcome Week, Druetzler’s email explained that if any student organization were to request a space, its request would have been denied.
Butler needs to work on embracing all student organizations, even during Welcome Week. Although the university may view Welcome Week activities as the most crucial component of a freshman’s first week at college, socializing is just as important.
Student organizations need to feel free and available to meet, organize and recruit within Butler, and this year, their options were decidedly more limited.