Photo Courtesy of Twanna Wilson, Greek Affairs

Last Tuesday, the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR), by unanimous consent, passed a bill giving higher funding priority to the Greek Programming Board.

The new organization is in charge of requesting funding from the Student Government Association (SGA) for all joint Greek events, including Greek Week, Greek Peer Education and Homecoming. In prior years, the Interfraternity Council (IFC), formerly the only council with the higher Tier II status, would request funding for joint events in its budget or in separate funding requests. After the money was allocated, the Greek councils would work out among themselves how much each council owed.

Eventually, the councils became dissatisfied with the arrangement.

“This is actually something that’s been in the works for a number of years,” said Caroline Freeman President of Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC). “Essentially, the way the funding system was working before, IFC had Tier II status and none of the other councils did.”

With the passage of the bill, the Greek Programming Board will be considered a Tier II organization and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) will be downgraded to a Tier III organization, joining the CPC and other Greek councils.

“We are going to be submitting a FY2015 budget request for the first time as a unified programming board to SGA which will include things that would traditionally have [been requested by IFC],” said Grace Lewis, President of the Greek Programming Board.

Following the reorganization, the council presidents are hoping for a better relationship with SGA.

“One of the main goals behind this was to try to improve relationships with SGA because in the past we’ve had really poor relationships for some reason,” said IFC President Mason Elledge. “[We had a lot of] miscommunications and they [didn’t] understand where we [got] our funding… so we’re hoping to try to clear that up.”

Another source of tension was the image presented by IFC’s unique funding status.

“[Former UHR Speakers of the House] Mike Mosgrove and [Brook McDaniel] approached Greek Affairs saying essentially [that] it looks kind of like a guy’s club when IFC comes in and asks for money for things like Greek Week and Greek Peer Education that really encompass Greek programming, beyond just IFC,” Lewis said.

In addition to improving SGA relations, the councils see the new board as an opportunity for increased cooperation between the Greek councils and organizations.

“[All] four of our councils are growing and we’re all trying to get behind this mindset [that] we’re all Greek and our actions within each of our councils affect one another, so it made sense for programming and funding to fall in line with that too,” Freeman said.

“My personal goal [as President of the Greek Programming Board is] to act pretty much as a liaison for every individual chapter of Greek Organizations, so that they can come to me when they’re trying to [propose bills],” Lewis said.

An important aspect that the councils considered when choosing the board’s president was experience in both SGA and the councils.

“The overall chair will be selected by the outgoing Presidents and it won’t be somebody who’s currently serving on any of the council executive boards, but someone who … is an outgoing officer who has, hopefully, both knowledge of SGA and of our councils,” Freeman said.

Lewis previously served in SGA and as Greek Week Chair.

In addition to the president, the board is comprised of representatives from each of the four councils, including the council presidents, a representative from Oder of Omega and several advisors.