Policy about painting letters on field under consideration

This homecoming could be the last for underground Greek letters on field
By Greg Pfeiffer

The view at Bair Stadium may not be as colorful this homecoming. The long-held tradition of painting Greek letters and logos of campus organizations on the hill enclosing the football field is under scrutiny, though decisive action has yet to be taken.

There has been recent debate over the ability of Greek organizations to paint their letters on the stadium hill. Fraternities and sororities are sanctioned a small piece of the hill to represent their group; Homecoming acts as the best event for these displays. With multiple Greek bodies on campus, both recognized and underground, space is limited.

The issue surfaced recently when underground organizations painted their letters on the field, crowding legitimate, school-backed organizations. Other members of the campus community were concerned about the even distribution of space per organization.

There has been speculation that underground groups should be denied a section on the hill, leaving only certain groups the chance for acknowledgement. According to senior Jonathan Schultz, however, the talk holds little certainty.

“The statement about letting only recognized organizations paint their letters on the hill is just that, a statement” says Schultz, the InterGreek Council President as well as the Treasurer and a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. “It has not been turned into a policy, and nothing has been established.”

The matter has been brought before the IGC, where a vote took place to gather support from recognized Greek groups to send the issue to administration. At this point, as Schultz explained only time will tell if certain organizations are denied the opportunity to display their letters. If the policy does indeed pass, unrecognized bodies will not have the privilege to paint, as deemed by administrators placing priority on known bodies.

This has not, however, stopped most organizations from displaying their letters in the past. In fact, groups who have not received space missed out because other groups take up too much room and cut into other areas. Once many groups do this, little to no room is left for a particular group; this happens mostly during Homecoming.

Schultz has done his homework on the issue, explaining that the McDaniel College 2007-2008 Student Handbook states “defacing College property” will result in “College discipline.” With that in mind, it seems administration has already set the ground rules for painting; anyone who does is clearly in violation of code of conduct. In this case, tradition continually outweighs the guidelines each year, and no damage takes place.

“Once the grass is cut, the paint will be gone. It’s as simple as that,” Schultz added.

The new policy would require approved groups to register with the College Activities Office before painting their letters. After registering, groups will receive an assigned space on the hill that they must adhere to, and consequences will involve disciplinary action against any violators.

Whether or not any decision will be made before Homecoming is unknown, though it appears that this homecoming could be the last time underground fraternities and sororities will have a chance to sprawl their letter out on the grass.