By Liza Mendonca
The battle to have fraternities and sororities recognized at Ryerson is being relaunched Wednesday when a group of students appeal a decision that denies them official group status.
RUFFAS (Ryerson Union for Fraternities and Sororities), a proposed coalition that represents six fraternities and sororities at Toronto universities, was rejected at a meeting last Tuesday. The group will appeal the decision this Wednesday.
“If the words ‘fraternity’ or ‘sorority’ were not mentioned once in the [RyeSAC] constitution, it would pass easily as a student group,” said Jack Gryn, a fourth-year computer science student and founder of the proposed group.
“Who wouldn’t approve a group [that] is out there trying to help the community?”
Gryn, the founder of Alpha Epsilon Phi, a Jewish fraternity, said RUFFAS members plan to challenge the stereotypes associated with fraternities and sororities and promote academic excellence.
“It’s not what you see in the movies,” Gryn said. “We’re a group of individuals who like to focus on leadership, personal growth and giving back to the community.”
But RyeSAC has been reluctant to recognize fraternities and sororities since it only sponsors groups open to all students. Leatrice Spevack, campus groups administrator, has argued in the past that fraternities have exclusive membership.
A RUFFAS information package says it is not trying to recruit members and anyone can join.
There are concerns about the group because it would give fraternities and sororities not affiliated with Ryerson too much control, said RyeSAC president Odelia Bay.
However, Gryn said recognizing different groups will promote diversity.