The Geneseo Inter Greek Council is currently spearheading an initiative to create a scholarship in honor of Arman Partamian to promote alcohol awareness.
This effort follows nearly two-and-a-half years after the 19-year-old Geneseo student died from alcohol poisoning while pledging with the unaffiliated P.I.G.S. fraternity in February 2009.
By design, the goal of this scholarship will be to promote alcohol awareness.
"Applicants will be expected to compose an essay on how alcohol has affected them personally, someone they know or how it affects a college community," said Wendy Kinney, coordinator of Greek affairs. "All enrolled students will be eligible."
Seniors Meghan Lijewski, president of Inter Greek Council and member of Sigma Delta Tau, Julia McDaniel, member of Alpha Kappa Phi, and Jill Scalzo, member of Phi Kappa Pi, co-founded this effort after attending a Greek leadership conference in February 2011.
While at the conference, they were inspired to work alongside the school to improve Greek life and reputation on campus.
"When Arman passed in 2009, the school tried to make it clear that the P.I.G.S. were not a recognized group" Lijewski said. "Nonetheless, the Greek community was still cast in a negative light. We wanted to provide a way in which the Greek community could reach out to the whole Geneseo community again."
"It doesn't matter that Arman wasn't a member of Greek life," McDaniel said. "He was a fellow student, and we owe it to his memory to attempt to make necessary changes."
"We quickly learned that we would have to take baby steps," McDaniel continued. "The administration was really helpful, but students tended to provide more resistance to any significant changes."
In the end, the Inter Greek Council facilitated a "Geneseo U-Knighting for Change" week from October 17-22. During the week, the Greek community worked to educate students about the dangers of alcohol and hazing.
"We hope that this scholarship will not only honor the memory of Arman, but that it will also be an extension of the work that was done during the Geneseo U-Knighting for Change week," Lijewski said.
In association with the week of education, the Inter Greek Council held a pasta dinner at the Inter-Faith Center to raise funds for the developing scholarship, which has yet to receive an official title.
All $700 of the proceeds from this dinner, as well as a portion of 2011 Inter Greek Council membership dues, will provide the seed money for the venture.
Student response to this effort has been generally positive.
"I think this scholarship is a great idea because it draws attention to what happened," said freshman Richelle Pennington.
"This should provide people with an incentive to think about the dangers of alcohol," said freshman Caroline Walter.
"Arman was a bright and outgoing student," McDaniel said. "We hope this scholarship will illuminate the fact that one decision can affect your entire life."
The Inter Greek Council expects this scholarship to be installed at some point during the spring 2012 semester.