As the incoming president of Ball State's Interfraternity Council, Tony Bilotto is seeking to get IFC off to a fresh start.
"My main thing is to get everything we do in IFC out in the open," Bilotto said. "I want to see IFC become more of a resource to the fraternities on campus. It has really been a judicial body in the past."
Bilotto takes office Thursday and acknowledges that he has his work cut out for him.
A no-alcohol policy enacted at fraternity-sponsored social events this year, among other restrictions, has caused tension between the greek community and the university.
Bilotto said he hopes increased communication between the two bodies will ease that.
"I'd like to meet with the administration, just in a one-on-one meeting every couple weeks to see how we're both thinking," Bilotto said. "It's not that we're not getting along, it's more that we just haven't been communicating as we should."
Bilotto has a lengthy background in leadership positions, so he should know communication is key. He served as IFC vice president last year. His past positions also include Sigma Chi fraternity president, Student Government Association senator and Ball State judicial board member.
"The way I see it, this is the position that I can have the greatest impact in, and there is no better way to help," Bilotto said. "I think we (IFC) can get a lot accomplished by working with the university, and that would appease both parties."
Bilotto stressed that finding a medium is key to improving university-greek relations. At the same time, he sounded off on the restrictions placed on fraternities regarding parties.
"I don't think the university's decision to restrict fraternity parties got much accomplished," Bilotto said. "People are going to have fun no matter what, and now they go to house parties where they don't know anyone."
Bilotto alluded to a possible connection between an increase in campus rape and the ban on fraternity parties.
"Campus rape is up, and that was not so much a problem in the past," Bilotto said. "Girls were getting home safely from fraternity parties because sober people were driving them home. Girls have to walk, sometimes alone, from many house parties now."
Bilotto pointed out that fraternity parties provided for sober monitors stationed in the houses and sober drivers on call, as well as police and security support.
"When you consider that, restricting fraternity parties was not the right move to make," Bilotto said.
Establishing communication between greeks and independent students is among Bilotto's goals.
"I want to stress to (fraternity) chapters to include non-greeks in events such as Watermelon Bust," Bilotto said. "We want to open everything up to the whole campus, and the more we do that, the more people will recognize what we are doing."
Bilotto said fostering respect between greeks and independents is important and could be a significant plus if coupled by increased unity in the greek community.
"Unity among greeks currently is not near the best I have seen, having been here for four years, but it is definitely improving," Bilotto said. "Everyone's connecting more now, and people aren't missing the point that we're all in this together."
A new year and a new executive board should make for a fresh start to IFC, according to Bilotto.
"Everyone should keep a look out for the things the greek community will be doing this year," Bilotto said.