Jewish Council receives Greek Life recognition, but no vote

By Geoff Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 11, 1996

After three years of planning, the Greek Jewish Council will now be formally recognized by UA Greek Life.

The Greek Jewish Council will work to provide Jewish fraternity and sorority members with an outlet for their Jewish identities, said Belinda Lasky, University of Arizona Jewish Campus Service Council fellow.

"The council will give students a way to express Judaism in a fun and non-confrontational way," she said.

Brain Lockner, who held Lasky's position last year, created the idea of a Jewish council three years ago. Lockner worked with UA Greek Life to see what kind of interest existed for the group.

Julie Poore, Greek Life coordinator, said the group originally sought a cabinet position on the Panhellinic and Interfraternity Council boards. Greek Life decided it would be inappropriate to give voting privileges to such a specific population, she said.

The plan agreed on does not give the Jewish council a cabinet position. Instead, it will automatically place a Jewish council representative on the agenda of Panhellinic and IFC meetings. The plan gives the group an active voice without a vote.

"We wanted to give the organization a voice because they do represent the interests of such a large number of Greek students," she said.

Both social and professional Greek organizations have been invited to take part in the council. A goal is to have every Greek organization represented in the council, said Lasky, who will act as adviser to the council.

But as of yet, the council had not received an overwhelming response from the Greek community, Poore said. She said this could be the result of timing.

"A lot of the fraternities and sororities are just about to change leadership," Poore said. "Maybe after the new boards are elected and the new presidents take office there will be a renewed interest in participation in the Greek Jewish council."

The new officers will be fresh, exited and looking for new things to get involved in, she said.

The council sent out applications in September to fraternities and sororities so that its members could join the group. It will be accepting applications on an ongoing basis, Lasky said.

Members do not need to be Jewish and the group is actively seeking non-Jewish participants in the council. All applications are reviewed by the council's executive board.

Hillary Mallin, president of the Greek Jewish Council, said the group currently has about 15 fraternity and sorority members representing eight different Greek chapters.

"We really want to encourage the fraternities to apply," Mallin said. "We had lots of girls apply, but only one guy."

Lasky said the group will focus on planning events.

"Basically the council just plans the events." Lasky said. "Everyone will be encouraged to come and take part in the events once they are set up."

Social events are also planned.

"We are obviously bringing people together for cultural and religious reasons," she said, "but we are emphasizing the social aspects of the religious atmosphere."

Greeks interested in the council can contact Belinda Lasky at the Hillel Foundation-624-6561