Greek-affiliated Trainees Fare Much Better In DSG Elections

Image by Carolyn Sun Joining a Greek organization may not only give you “sis for life” but also a ticket to a successful Duke Trainee Government campaign.In February,

senior Ilana Weisman, vice president for equity and outreach at the time and this year’s executive vice president, conducteda demographics survey of DSG, showing that 56 percent of in 2014’s DSG members are Greek-affiliated and 24 percent are members of selective living groups. Throughout the most current election, 35 percent of candidates were Greek-affiliated, 25 percent were SLG-affiliated and an additional 10 percent were associated with both kinds of companies.

“I think affiliated trainees can have a benefit in character– oftenmany times gregarious, involved– and reach at Duke as their social circles can be extensive,” DSG president Tara Bansal, a senior, wrote in an e-mail. “Additionally, being part of a neighborhood (in my case, ‘sisterhood’) where supporting one another is considered a tenet and value of the group is a special benefit to affiliated groups.”

According to the Duke Trainee Affairs site, approximately 34 percent of Duke trainees are Greek-affiliated. From all DSG elections in the previous year, 69 percent of DSG’s current elected members– consisting of president, executive vice president, student company financing committee chair, vice presidents and senators– are Greek-affiliated.

Of the newly-elected senators this year, only 24 percent are independent students. Of the four candidates who remained in both Greek and SLG organizations, 3 were elected, compared to 4 out of 13 independent trainees that ran.

“This discussion is a good opportunity for Duke trainees to thinkthink of the benefit implicit with being connected and the best ways to neutralize rather than profit from that benefit, something I believe is seldom talked about, and I humbly acknowledge I’ve only believed about recently,” Bansal wrote.For a second year in a row, 6 of the seven DSG vice presidents are Greek-affiliated and the other is SLG-affiliated. In fact, the whole Executive Board this year is Greek or SLG-affiliated, except for sophomore Kushal Kadakia, DSG chief of staff, who is independent. He lost his quote for vice president for scholastic affairs to sophomore Sean Bissell, a member of Delta Tau Delta.”While selectives definitely have a big impact

on who gets elected, they do not really have any extra influence over the decisions DSG makes more than other group, “DSG LawyerChief law officer Annie Adair, a senior, wrote in an e-mail.”If the modification requires to made, we’ll make the change if we believe it’s in the best interest of the student body.” Bansal likewise described

that she thinks few DSG decisions are directly hinged on identity markers such as race, gender, association or wealth.However, there might be one circumstances where

affiliations influenced a DSG decision. When the Senate was authorizing annual budgets for different trainee organizations, the mock trial spending plan was very controversial. Billy Silk, Trinity ’16 and president of mock trial at the time, presented at the meeting to convince senators that mock trial ought to receive more moneying that SOFC initially allocated.”I believe that some senators were affected by their connection to Billy Silk through the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity,”said sophomore Michael Gulcicek, senator for equity and outreach at the time.However, junior Eddy Torgas– senator for domestic life at the time– said that he thinks that his connection with Billy Silk and AEPi minimally affected the vote.”I understand Billy through both Mock Trial and our fraternity and I will confess I may have voted in a different way if I didn’t understand Billy as much or if I had not been in Mock Trial and didn’t understand firsthand what the cashthe cash was going to, “Torgas wrote in an e-mail Sunday.”That being stated, I wish to think that the huge bulk of the members of DSG, myself included, hold themselves to an ethical and moral standard that needs them to acknowledge any prejudices they might hold and to look beyond them in any choices they make.”Originally, senators elected enhanced funding however later reversed that decision. According to Weisman’s market research study, Alpha Epsilon Pi is most represented fraternity in DSG.For the previous four years, the DSG president has actually been Greek-affiliated. In the most recent presidential race, Adair– an independent student– lost by 51 votes to Bansal, a member of Alpha Phi sorority.”Though I hate to say it, Greek and SLG associations control significant elections and

are the name of the video game,”Adair composed. “Anybody who says otherwise is lying. To win a major position– president, Young Trustee, EVP– in an opposed race necessitates the assistance of

big voting blocks of careful groups.” In April, The Chronicle got proof indicating that Alpha Phi awarded members a merit point for changing their Facebook profile or cover photo to support Bansal’s bid for president, which Alpha Phi President Akahne Philpot later verified. Eighty-two ladies were each granted a point for their efforts.” It’s disappointing to see there was a structured system to incentivize members of a group into openly supporting a prospect from their own organization, “Adair composed.”I hope practices like this stop to exist for the sake of independent candidates. “Philpot, nevertheless, wrote in an e-mail that the points were retroactively granted.”Many ladies in Alpha Phi were delightedenjoyed to support Tara, and we’re truly proudpleased with her,”Philpot composed.”The point is more of an aftermath regarding a program of sisterhood and less of an incentive.”Bansal noted that the reduced success for independent trainees ought to galvanize them to become more included in DSG.”I would highlight that this conversation is not suggested to prevent independent students from signing up with DSG– rather a call to action for more independent students to run and vote,”Bansal wrote.