Letters: President and events chair of Ski Team make statement, as do IFC and PHA


    To the Northwestern Community,

    We want to set the record straight.

    First, in the following statement we are speaking solely for ourselves as individuals and for no one else.

    Second, we acknowledge the fact that had this not been tied to the Ski Team, our involvement would have been minimal at best, and we would have shared many common criticisms that have been leveled at this week’s events. A week ago we were in your shoes, this was not our fight and we didn’t care. Please trust us when we say that this is no longer Ski Team vs. Kellyn, Paul, Dallas or anyone else for that matter and has not been since our first meeting, despite the best efforts of the media to frame it as such.

    Third, to those who still, after everything that has occurred, feel the need to undermine the efforts of everyone who has been working tirelessly to bring student led positive change to our campus, we urge you to see beyond the tension and join the dialogue. Though at times meetings this week have indeed been tense and heated, we want to emphasize that we along with all those seated at the table have had a voice and have been working towards a better Northwestern. Speculation over the extent to which intimidation tactics have been used over this week has to stop. Like we said, these meetings got intense, but we were there, you were not. The focus should no longer be on the details of how the first 12 hours unfolded, but instead on what we as a campus are doing to address diversity.

    We invite you to join the discussion,

    Matt Dolph, President, Ski Team

    Ben Shorofsky, Events Chair, Ski Team


    As members of the Greek community, both IFC and PHA have looked at this recent “Racial Olympics” incident as a learning opportunity. In the past few days, the Ski Team’s actions have been used as a campus wide example of racial insensitivity, and we’ve reflected on the Greek community in light of these events. Through this process, we’ve come to realize that there are events hosted by fraternities and sororities that can be considered offensive, and some chapter-hosted events have truly been only one step away from putting said chapters in the hot seat that the Ski Team is currently sitting. Thinking specifically to some of the careless event themes we have hosted in the past, we recognize that there are aspects to our organizations that are alienating and insensitive. We find this to be alarming and counterintuitive to the values of our organizations.

    We are currently looking at ways to fix this, as reflected in a committee formed at the Greek Leadership Retreat that’s made up of members from all four Greek councils. IFC and PHA are both passionate about cross-council programming with MGC and NPHC, encouraging genuine personal connections that bridge the gap between diverse groups of people within the Greek community. But we also realize that it has to go deeper than that and affect individuals at a chapter level. There has to be education and conversation between individuals. We urge fraternities and sororities to engage in community service and philanthropy events with MGC and NPHC organizations. We encourage them to host dinner exchanges that foster intimate and comfortable environments where people can meet and have discussions without the presence of alcohol. We ideally want to get to a point where IFC and PHA members are not just paired with multi-cultural Greek organizations for programming, but instead use the Greek community to build personal connections with individual members in these chapters.  We believe it is in these personal relationships that mindsets can truly be changed.

    However, we also want to make clear that we do not stand just as members of the Greek community, but as students at Northwestern. We believe we are correct in saying that this problem does not exist solely in the Greek community, nor with just the Ski Team, nor in any other one organization. It is a campus wide problem. As one of the biggest student groups on campus, we are taking the steps towards fixing these issues. In fixing these issues within our community, we can hopefully influence the way students think and act throughout campus. Though, no matter how big or small these steps may be, the campus as a whole cannot move forward without the assistance and cooperation of other student groups. The issue ultimately comes down to accountability, and as a student group that’s built around promoting values and fostering maturity, we realize where we are currently failing. However, we are prepared to do what we can to keep ourselves accountable.

    The Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association


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