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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Resurgence of Greek life the topic of URI web chat Oct. 17

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 6, 2006 -- Thomas Dougan, University of Rhode Island vice-president for student affairs, will discuss fraternities, sororities, and the resurgence of Greek life at the University during an online chat on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m.

Once the center of social life on campus and the source of long-term relationships, URIís Greek life suffered a fall from grace during the 1980s and 90s. Today, it is making a comeback, with 10 percent of students now members of the Universityís 11 fraternities and 9 sororities and a 30 percent increase in the number of women who rushed sororities this year over 2005. In addition, Zeta Beta Tau won the highest national award in2006 for the best fraternity chapter in the country, and Chi Phi will break ground for a new chapter house this fall.

During the online chat, Dougan will discuss the turnaround of Greek life, its prospects for the future, and how fraternity and sorority life in 2006 differs from that of past decades.

Dougan earned his undergraduate degree from Edinboro University, his mastersí degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University, and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Florida. He has been at URI since 1985, becoming vice-president for student affairs in 2001.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancementís electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go http://advance.uri.edu/chats for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the Universityís website once the chat has been completed. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URIís online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question and answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kaufman talking about the making of Born into Brothels, and former American Airlines president Robert Crandall discussing airline safety, as well as with URI administrators, faculty and coaches.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the GoRhody.com web site.