The Greek life is strictly forbidden as a part of the Dixie State University Club Council bylaws, but one student is alleging it was her attempts to start a sorority that resulted in the university's administration forbidding Greek organizations completely.
Indigo Klabanoff, a senior communication major from Boston, has been attempting to formulate a sorority on campus since September of 2012, but she said it’s been an uphill battle since the idea’s inception.
“I started it all by myself,” she said. “The first order of business was to talk to Del Beatty, so I did, and that was the whole start of everything.”
Brandon Lewis, a senior communication major from Coalville and the DSU Student Association vice president of clubs, said he’s been impressed with Klabanoff’s enthusiasm with attempting to bring a sorority to campus.
“Really, we have never had a student as passionate about having a sorority on campus,” he said.
But passion didn’t make Klabanoff’s pitch any easier.
Klabanoff said Beatty told her a sorority would be a “tough sell” and that DSU’s administration didn’t want the school to be affiliated with any Greek life because it connotes partying.
“I mentioned (to Beatty) how good it would look for Dixie if we as a sorority were involved with the community,” she said. “We want to help out at Dixie Care and Share and volunteer at the preschool.”
Klabanoff said she wasn’t shown any club bylaws on the issue and claims she asked to see documentation on rules concerning Greek life. She alleges the bylaws forbidding Greek life weren’t drafted until after her request to start a sorority.
“They’re just making rules as they go along,” she said. “It’s been really shady. They made the bylaws because I asked them (about a sorority).”
According to the DSU Student Association Club Council bylaws, which can be found at Dixiestudentlife.com, “National fraternities/sororities are not sanctioned by Dixie State University.”
Article III, section A, No. 3 goes on to state that fraternities and sororities would need letters of acceptance from DSU President Stephen Nadauld and the president of the board of trustees, and “…sponsorship of such organizations is not part of the Dixie State University mission, and the current leadership at this institution will not allow these charters.”
The section also states that no club at DSU is allowed to use Greek letters in its name unless those clubs are national honor societies.
While the date listed on the bylaws is April of 2012, the bylaws themselves were recently changed to reflect the administration's views on Greek life.
Lewis said the inter club council did take a vote to update the bylaws over the summer. Since none of them could meet in person, they did so via text and email. He confirmed that the bylaw change was due to Klabanoff’s request to start a sorority because Nadauld was against Greek life on campus.
“I said, ‘There’s nothing written in our bylaws (about Greek life),’” Lewis said. “We have to be in accordance to President Nadauld and his wishes.”
Klabanoff also met with Nadauld, and she said while he was open to speaking with her, his mind was made up from the beginning.
As far as a sorority was concerned, Klabanoff said the university simply doesn’t want the Greek letters. In fact, she said she could start a club that does pretty much everything a sorority does, but she could not call it a sorority.
Lewis said alternative club ideas were provided to Klabanoff, but “we cannot have any sororities or fraternities (or clubs) that give the impression of Greek life.”
He said the bylaws were updated but even if they don’t pass, a Greek life entity still wouldn’t have a chance on DSU’s campus.
“These bylaws reflect what the president wants,” he said.
In accordance with the interclub council bylaws, the bylaw revisions have to be voted upon by at least four representatives from the executive council, and the new bylaws have to be available for the student body to read online before they are voted upon.
Those bylaws were online until yesterday when the council met to take a final vote.
At the meeting, Lewis made sure to reiterate that even if the new bylaws were changed in favor of using Greek letters, the school's policy wouldn't change.
Since the meeting was not publicized, only Klabanoff, Dixie Sun News, inter club council members, Dean of Students Del Beatty, DSU Public Relations Director Steve Johnson and Director of Student Involvment and Leadership Jordon Sharp were present.
The council unanimously voted to approve the bylaws that stated the university will not accept clubs that include Greek letters in the title.