Crow addresses student concerns about Greek life, smoking ban

ASU President Michael Crow speaks to the editorial staff of The State Press. Crow held a Q&A session Monday at Verde Dining Pavilion on the West campus, where students were able to ask questions. The discussion covered topics such as diversity and Greek life. (Photo by Jessie Wardarski)


Correction added.

ASU President Michael Crow answered students’ questions and concerns Monday regarding Greek life, next fall’s smoking ban and diversity.

The West campus event, organized by the Associated Students of ASU, was televised across all campuses and available online.

Crow discussed the future of Greek life on campus and said there is no correlation between allegations of hazing and exploratory freshman Jack Culolias’s disappearance last week.

“We have 54 Greek organizations operating within the University right now, and 99.5 (percent) of all that is going fine,” Crow said.

Jim Rund, senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services, said there has been misinformation in the media regarding fraternities.

“We are very proud of our Greek life,” he said.

The smoking ban will be self-enforced and community-enforced, Crow said.

“Our hope is that between now and August … there will be opportunity to get off that habit,” he said.

ASU is the only Research I university in the country to represent socioeconomic diversity, Crow said.

A Research I university used to be a category indicating universities in the U.S. that have prolific research activity.

“We have a very diverse student body … and we’re very excited about that,” Crow said. “We think it’s a fantastic thing to achieve.”

Microbiology and English literature senior Riley, who chooses not to disclose their last name, addressed a concern regarding transgender issues.

Riley, who is the president of the student organization Gender WHAT?!, said student insurance does not many of the common methods of transitioning.

“I just thought it was kind of backwards that ASU only covers bottom surgery but not top surgery and not hormones,” Riley said after the forum.

Crow said it’s important to make sure student insurance is fair and equitable.

“A student going through a life change that is as complex as the one that you suggest should not have to be dealing (with insurance),” Crow said.

Crow also answered questions about parking, the costs of which he said cannot be lowered, and the new A and B sessions that resulted in a shorter winter break this year.

“We are trying to provide alternative pathways for students to more individualize (their) work,” he said.

Mark Naufel, president of the Undergraduate Student Government at the Tempe campus, said the open forums are important for students.

Crow addresses concerns while also engaging students, Naufel said.

“I don’t think there (are) many universities that … provide the students an opportunity to meet with the highest person in administration,” he said. “Students are missing out if they don’t take this opportunity.”


Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @dpalomabp

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.